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 harder now more than ever– specifically for content online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is an increasingly attractive course, with almost 45% of freelance and contract respondents earning wages above $75,000 per year.

But that does not imply it’s the only viable profession course for material online marketers.

In truth, the future looks brilliant for in-house experts as more companies are finding ways to incorporate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing career as a freelance writer making a monthly earnings 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” technique.

Read on as Frost shares her experience of becoming an in-house material strategist, go-to SEO methods, and suggestions for developing a gratifying SEO career.

Becoming An In-House Content Strategist

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

Aja Frost: “My transition from freelancing to in-house was six years ago, but 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 clients, who generally only care about the high level. I was far less self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

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

What unanticipated ability or experience has assisted you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I invest five to 6 hours per day in conferences, and being able to interpret how someone is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or doubtful, etc, is extremely valuable.

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

If I remain in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m assessing everybody’s responses. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make certain I’m analyzing ideas properly.”

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 home builder HubSpot launched a few months earlier.

It’s really a drag-and-drop website contractor that’s incredibly simple to use (I’ve built a few test websites for fun), and it provides totally free webhosting and no charge for linking a custom-made domain.”

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

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

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.

However, nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and proficiency for determining which keywords belong together in a post and how those short articles need to be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for material technique?

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

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

For example, when localizing an English post to German, the team will replace “biggest,” “finest in class,” “amazing,” etc with “it’s great, and it will help you.”

A great deal of material is developed in-language (meaning the keyword research is done in Spanish, and the content is produced in Spanish). This ensures we address the questions unique to our target audience.”

What’s the most reliable SEO strategy you ‘d recommend to somebody wishing to improve the results they are getting from organic search?

AF: “Focus on quality over amount. It’s much more effective to release one well-written, in-depth piece of material with unique insights and initial research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Assisting Ladies Run The SEO World

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

AF: “Produce samples for theoretical 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 task, and make sure your site looks professional and your own content method is flawless.”

What suggestions do you have for a female pursuing a career in SEO? For a lady aspiring to a leadership function in the industry?

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

My support system has been invaluable for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to handle new obstacles, and brainstorming methods to get more airtime in conferences, get individuals to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I highly, extremely advise 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 show my fantastic (or, for German readers, “good”) coworkers and manager. And, naturally, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost