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 significantly appealing path, with nearly 45% of freelance and agreement participants earning salaries above $75,000 annually.

However that doesn’t suggest it’s the only feasible career course for material marketers.

In reality, the future looks bright for in-house professionals as more businesses are finding methods to integrate SEO into more comprehensive 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 started her marketing career as a freelance author making a month-to-month earnings of approximately $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” technique.

Continue reading as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal content strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and ideas for developing a gratifying SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An Internal Content Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from a recognized freelance writer to an internal content strategist?

Aja Frost: “My shift from freelancing to in-house was 6 years ago, however I remember it was challenging.

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

In addition, I needed 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+ staff members.”

What unexpected skill or experience has helped you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I spend 5 to six hours daily in meetings, and being able to interpret how someone is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or skeptical, etc, is extremely valuable.

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

If I’m in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m evaluating everybody’s reactions. And I consistently repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and ensure I’m analyzing hints correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

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

It’s in fact a drag-and-drop site home builder that’s incredibly easy to utilize (I have actually developed a few test websites for enjoyable), and it uses totally free web hosting and no cost for linking a customized domain.”

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

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

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

Nevertheless, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and know-how for figuring out which keywords belong together in an article and how those short articles should be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for content method?

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

Our localization group is incredible; for every single piece of material they localize, they’re equating not just the words and significance however matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target audience.

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

A great deal of content is produced in-language (implying the keyword research is performed in Spanish, and the content is created in Spanish). This guarantees we address the questions special to our target market.”

What’s the most efficient SEO technique you ‘d recommend 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 release one well-written, extensive piece of content with unique insights and original research than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

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

Helping Females Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a difficult time selling themselves with no past clients under their belts for recommendation?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some complimentary keyword research or content production for them in exchange for training and your name on a job, and make sure your site looks expert and your own content technique is remarkable.”

What guidance do you have for a female pursuing a career in SEO? For a female aspiring to a leadership function in the market?

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

My support system has been indispensable for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to take on new obstacles, and conceptualizing techniques to get more airtime in meetings, get people to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, highly recommend developing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your company) 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, “excellent”) coworkers and manager. And, naturally, the live version of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost