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 question.

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

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively appealing course, with nearly 45% of freelance and agreement respondents earning salaries above $75,000 per year.

But that does not indicate it’s the only feasible profession path for content online marketers.

In reality, the future looks brilliant for in-house specialists as more businesses are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing profession as a freelance author making a monthly income of approximately $6,000.

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

Read on as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal material strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and pointers for constructing a rewarding SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An Internal Material Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from an established freelance author to an in-house material strategist?

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

I needed to relearn a lot of my instincts– for example, your supervisor and teammates tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who typically just appreciate the high level. I was far less self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to determine the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a big organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, 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 most likely my most-used ability.

I invest 5 to six hours per day in meetings, and having the ability to translate how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or hesitant, and so on, is incredibly valuable.

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

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m gauging everybody’s responses. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m translating hints properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so thrilled about the free website contractor HubSpot released a few months back.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop website builder that’s extremely easy to use (I’ve built a few test websites for fun), and it offers totally free web hosting and no cost for connecting a customized domain.”

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

AF: “AI-driven keyword research is valuable as a structure.

It’s far quicker to use a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than manually dig through the SERPs or perhaps Ahrefs results.

Nevertheless, nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and competence for figuring out which keywords belong together in a short article and how those posts must be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your planning for material technique?

AF: “Content that has traffic and need capacity in numerous markets will be produced in English initially and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blog sites.

Our localization group is extraordinary; for each piece of material they localize, they’re translating not just the words and significance however matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target market.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the group will replace “biggest,” “best in class,” “extraordinary,” etc with “it’s excellent, and it will assist you.”

A great deal of material is developed in-language (suggesting the keyword research is performed in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This ensures we respond to the questions unique to our target market.”

What’s the most reliable SEO technique you ‘d suggest to someone wishing to enhance the outcomes they are obtaining from natural search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s much more efficient to publish one well-written, in-depth piece of material with unique insights and initial research than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

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

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any tips for SEO freelancers who have a tough time selling themselves without any previous clients under their belts for referral?

AF: “Produce samples for theoretical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some free keyword research or material production for them in exchange for training and your name on a task, and make certain your website looks expert and your own material method is flawless.”

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

AF: “Being a female in the SEO market and a female leader in tech is getting a lot simpler … but it’s still hard!

My support system has actually been indispensable for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to handle brand-new challenges, and brainstorming methods to get more airtime in conferences, get people to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, extremely recommend developing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your business) to call on.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and regard I show my fantastic (or, for German readers, “great”) colleagues and manager. And, of course, the live version of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost