From Freelance Writer To In-House Leader: Meet Aja Frost

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To work freelance or to go in-house? That is the concern.

And the question is trickier now more than ever– especially for content online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is an increasingly appealing path, with nearly 45% of freelance and agreement participants earning wages above $75,000 per year.

But that doesn’t indicate it’s the only feasible career course for material online marketers.

In fact, the future looks bright for in-house experts as more companies are discovering ways to integrate SEO into broader marketing efforts.

So, which way do you go at the fork in the roadway?

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing profession as a freelance author making a month-to-month income of roughly $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Growth at HubSpot, where she helped its Sales Blog break an 18-month traffic plateau by employing an “organic-first” strategy.

Read on as Frost shares her experience of becoming an in-house content strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and ideas for constructing a gratifying SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An In-House Content Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from a recognized freelance author to an internal content strategist?

Aja Frost: “My transition from freelancing to in-house was six years back, but I remember it was challenging.

I had to relearn a great deal of my impulses– for example, your supervisor and colleagues tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who normally only care about the high level. I was far less self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I had to find out the dynamics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a big organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds small, as HubSpot has 7,000+ employees.”

What unexpected ability or experience has assisted you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

AF: “Active listening and observing is probably my most-used ability.

I spend 5 to 6 hours per day in meetings, and being able to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re convinced or skeptical, and so on, is exceptionally valuable.

To facilitate this, I make Zoom full-screen, conceal my own box so I can’t get distracted by my face, and shut off all alerts.

If I’m in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m evaluating everyone’s responses. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m analyzing ideas properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

What is your favorite feature within the HubSpot platform, and why?

AF: “I’m so ecstatic about the totally free website builder HubSpot released a few months earlier.

It’s in fact a drag-and-drop site builder that’s incredibly easy to utilize (I’ve built a couple of test websites for enjoyable), and it offers totally free webhosting and no cost for linking a custom domain.”

What patterns are you seeing in how AI impact keyword research study? How do you take and turn these trends into topic-cluster-driven search strategies?

AF: “AI-driven keyword research is handy as a foundation.

It’s far faster to utilize a tool to come up with pertinent longer-tail keywords than by hand dig through the SERPs or perhaps Ahrefs results.

However, nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and expertise for determining which keywords belong together in a short article and how those articles ought to be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for material strategy?

AF: “Material that has traffic and demand capacity in multiple markets will be created in English first and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blogs.

Our localization team is extraordinary; for every piece of content they localize, they’re equating not simply the words and significance however matching HubSpot’s design and voice to the target market.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the team will replace “greatest,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” etc with “it’s great, and it will assist you.”

A lot of content is developed in-language (suggesting the keyword research study is carried out in Spanish, and the material is produced in Spanish). This ensures we address the concerns unique to our target audience.”

What’s the most reliable SEO method you ‘d advise to somebody wanting to enhance the results they are obtaining from organic search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s even more effective to publish one well-written, extensive piece of material with special insights and original research than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

If you’re not getting the outcomes you need to be when you take a look at your keywords’ target MSV (monthly search volume), slow down and spend (method more) time on each post.”

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any pointers for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride selling themselves without any previous customers under their belts for recommendation?

AF: “Develop samples for hypothetical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some totally free keyword research or material production for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and ensure your site looks professional and your own content technique is flawless.”

What advice do you have for a lady pursuing a career in SEO? For a female aspiring to a leadership function in the industry?

AF: “Being a lady in the SEO industry and a female leader in tech is getting a lot much easier … but it’s still difficult!

My support system has been important for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to take on brand-new challenges, and brainstorming strategies to get more airtime in conferences, get individuals to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I highly, extremely recommend constructing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your business) to get in touch with.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and respect I show my wonderful (or, for German readers, “great”) associates and supervisor. And, of course, the live version of Beyonce’s Formation.”

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Included Image: Thanks To Aja Frost