From Freelance Author 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 marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a significantly appealing path, with almost 45% of freelance and agreement participants making wages above $75,000 annually.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the only viable career path for material online marketers.

In reality, the future looks intense for in-house experts as more businesses are finding ways to incorporate SEO into broader 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 began her marketing career as a freelance writer making a month-to-month earnings of roughly $6,000.

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

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

Ending Up Being An In-House Content Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from a recognized freelance author to an internal 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 great deal of my instincts– for example, your manager and teammates tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who generally just appreciate the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I had to determine the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, seemed like a huge organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ staff members.”

What unforeseen skill 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 each day in conferences, and being able to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re persuaded or doubtful, and so on, is exceptionally important.

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

If I’m in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m assessing everybody’s responses. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m translating clues properly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so excited about the free website builder HubSpot launched a couple of months back.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop site builder that’s extremely easy to utilize (I’ve built a few test websites for enjoyable), and it offers complimentary webhosting and no charge for connecting a custom domain.”

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

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

It’s far faster to use a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than by hand dig through the SERPs and even Ahrefs results.

However, nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and know-how for finding out which keywords belong together in a post and how those posts need to be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your preparation for content technique?

AF: “Material that has traffic and demand potential in several markets will be created in English initially and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blog sites.

Our localization group is unbelievable; for each piece of content they localize, they’re equating not simply the words and meaning however matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target market.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the group will change “greatest,” “best in class,” “amazing,” and so on with “it’s great, and it will help you.”

A great deal of material is produced in-language (meaning the keyword research is done in Spanish, and the content is produced in Spanish). This guarantees we respond to the concerns unique to our target market.”

What’s the most efficient SEO strategy you ‘d suggest to someone wishing to enhance the results they are receiving from natural search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s far more reliable to release one well-written, thorough piece of material with distinct insights and initial research than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Assisting Ladies Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a tough time offering themselves with no past 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 project, and ensure your site looks expert and your own material strategy is remarkable.”

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

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

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

I highly, highly suggest developing your network of peers (both inside and beyond your company) to call on.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and respect I share with my terrific (or, for German readers, “great”) associates and supervisor. And, obviously, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost