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

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

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 course, with almost 45% of freelance and agreement respondents earning salaries above $75,000 per year.

But that doesn’t suggest it’s the only viable profession course for material marketers.

In truth, the future looks intense for internal experts as more companies are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

So, which way do you address the fork in the road?

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing profession as a freelance author making a month-to-month earnings 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 utilizing an “organic-first” technique.

Read on as Frost shares her experience of becoming an internal content strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and pointers for building a gratifying SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An In-House Material Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from an established freelance writer to an internal content strategist?

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

I needed to relearn a great deal of my impulses– for instance, your manager and teammates 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 determine the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a big organization (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ employees.”

What unforeseen 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 6 hours daily in conferences, and having the ability to translate how someone is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re persuaded or hesitant, etc, is exceptionally valuable.

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

If I remain in a bigger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m determining everyone’s reactions. And I consistently repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m interpreting ideas properly.”

Go-To Content 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 earlier.

It’s really a drag-and-drop site builder that’s very easy to utilize (I’ve built a couple of test websites for fun), and it offers totally free web hosting and no charge for connecting a customized domain.”

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

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

It’s far much faster to utilize a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than manually dig through the SERPs or even Ahrefs outcomes.

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

How does globalization impact your preparation for material technique?

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

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

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

A great deal of content is created in-language (indicating the keyword research study is carried out in Spanish, and the material is created in Spanish). This ensures we answer the concerns unique to our target audience.”

What’s the most reliable SEO technique you ‘d advise to someone wishing to enhance the outcomes they are getting from organic search?

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

If you’re not getting the results you must be when you look at your keywords’ target MSV (regular monthly search volume), slow down and spend (way more) time on each post.”

Helping Ladies Run The SEO World

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

AF: “Develop samples for hypothetical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some complimentary keyword research or content creation for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and make sure your site looks expert and your own content strategy is impressive.”

What suggestions do you have for a lady pursuing a profession in SEO? For a woman aspiring to a leadership function in the market?

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

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

I highly, extremely recommend building your network of peers (both inside and outside of your business) to contact.”

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

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost