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

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To work freelance or to go internal? That is the concern.

And the question is harder now more than ever– particularly for content marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively appealing path, with practically 45% of freelance and contract participants making salaries above $75,000 each year.

However that does not suggest it’s the only practical career course for material marketers.

In fact, the future looks bright for internal specialists as more organizations are finding methods to integrate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

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

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

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

Continue reading as Frost shares her experience of becoming an in-house material strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and suggestions for constructing a satisfying SEO career.

Ending Up Being An In-House Content Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from an established freelance writer to an in-house content strategist?

Aja Frost: “My shift from freelancing to in-house was six years ago, however I remember it was challenging.

I had to relearn a lot of my instincts– for example, your supervisor and colleagues tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who typically just care about the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I had to figure out the dynamics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a big company (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ workers.”

What unforeseen ability or experience has helped you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I spend 5 to six 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 convinced or doubtful, 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 turn off all alerts.

If I’m in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m assessing everybody’s responses. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m analyzing clues properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so thrilled about the complimentary site builder HubSpot released a couple of months earlier.

It’s really a drag-and-drop site contractor that’s super simple to utilize (I have actually constructed a couple of test sites for fun), and it offers free webhosting and no charge for connecting a custom-made domain.”

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

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

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

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and expertise for figuring out which keywords belong together in a post and how those short articles must be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your preparation for material technique?

AF: “Content that has traffic and demand potential in several markets will be produced in English first and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blogs.

Our localization team is amazing; for every single piece of material they localize, they’re translating not simply 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 team will change “greatest,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” etc with “it’s good, and it will assist you.”

A lot of content is produced in-language (indicating the keyword research study is performed in Spanish, and the material is created in Spanish). This guarantees we address the questions distinct to our target audience.”

What’s the most efficient SEO method you ‘d suggest to somebody wishing to improve the results they are obtaining from natural search?

AF: “Focus on quality over quantity. It’s much more efficient to release one well-written, thorough piece of content with special insights and original research than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

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

Helping Women Run The SEO World

Any pointers for SEO freelancers who have a difficult time selling themselves with no previous clients under their belts for referral?

AF: “Develop samples for theoretical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some totally free keyword research study or material development for them in exchange for training and your name on a task, and make sure your website looks expert and your own material technique is remarkable.”

What guidance do you have for a lady pursuing a profession in SEO? For a woman aspiring to a management role in the market?

AF: “Being a female in the SEO market and a female leader in tech is getting a lot easier … however it’s still tough!

My support group has been vital for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to take on brand-new challenges, and conceptualizing methods to get more airtime in conferences, get people to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, highly suggest building your network of peers (both inside and beyond your company) to contact.”

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, “good”) coworkers and supervisor. And, naturally, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost