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 concern is harder now more than ever– specifically for material marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a significantly appealing course, with almost 45% of freelance and contract respondents earning incomes above $75,000 each year.

But that doesn’t imply it’s the only feasible career course for material marketers.

In fact, the future looks bright for in-house specialists as more services are discovering methods to integrate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing career as a freelance author 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 site break an 18-month traffic plateau by using an “organic-first” technique.

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

Becoming An Internal Material Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from a recognized freelance writer to an in-house material strategist?

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

I had to relearn a lot of my instincts– for instance, your supervisor and colleagues tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who generally just care about the high level. I was far less self-governing 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 big company (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ employees.”

What unexpected skill 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 five to 6 hours daily in meetings, and being able to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced 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 turn off all notices.

If I’m in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m determining everybody’s responses. And I consistently repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make certain I’m analyzing clues correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so fired up about the free site contractor HubSpot released a couple of months earlier.

It’s really a drag-and-drop website contractor that’s extremely easy to utilize (I’ve developed a few test sites for enjoyable), and it offers complimentary web hosting and no charge for connecting a custom-made domain.”

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

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

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 outcomes.

However, nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and knowledge for finding out which keywords belong together in an article and how those posts should be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for content technique?

AF: “Content that has traffic and demand capacity in numerous markets will be developed in English first and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our local blogs.

Our localization team is incredible; for every piece of content they localize, they’re translating not simply the words and meaning however matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target audience.

For example, when localizing an English post to German, the group will replace “greatest,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” and so on with “it’s good, and it will help you.”

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

What’s the most effective SEO technique you ‘d recommend to somebody wishing to improve the results they are receiving from organic search?

AF: “Focus on quality over amount. It’s even more effective to publish one well-written, thorough piece of material with special insights and original research study than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

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

Assisting Women Run The SEO World

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

AF: “Create samples for hypothetical clients, ask another freelancer if you can do some complimentary keyword research or material creation for them in exchange for training and your name on a job, and make certain your website looks professional and your own material strategy is remarkable.”

What suggestions do you have for a female pursuing a profession in SEO? For a female aspiring to a management function in the industry?

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

My support group has actually been vital for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to handle new obstacles, and brainstorming techniques to get more airtime in conferences, get people to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

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

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

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

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost