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

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

And the concern is trickier now more than ever– particularly for content online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively attractive path, with practically 45% of freelance and contract respondents making wages above $75,000 annually.

But that does not mean it’s the only viable career path for content online marketers.

In reality, the future looks brilliant for internal experts as more businesses are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing profession as a freelance writer making a regular monthly income 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 using an “organic-first” method.

Keep reading as Frost shares her experience of becoming an in-house content strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and tips for constructing a fulfilling SEO career.

Ending Up Being An Internal Material 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 earlier, however I remember it was challenging.

I had to relearn a lot of my instincts– for example, your supervisor and colleagues tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who normally just 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, seemed like a big organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ workers.”

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 spend 5 to 6 hours per day in meetings, and having the ability to interpret how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re persuaded or hesitant, etc, is exceptionally important.

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 notifications.

If I’m in a bigger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m gauging everybody’s reactions. And I consistently repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and ensure I’m interpreting hints properly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so fired up about the complimentary website home builder HubSpot introduced a couple of months earlier.

It’s in fact a drag-and-drop site home builder that’s extremely easy to utilize (I have actually constructed a few test websites for fun), and it uses free web hosting and no cost for linking a custom-made domain.”

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

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

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

Nevertheless, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and competence for determining which keywords belong together in an article and how those posts must be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your preparation for content method?

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

Our localization group is incredible; for each piece of content they localize, they’re equating not simply the words and meaning but matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target market.

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

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

What’s the most effective SEO method you ‘d advise to someone wanting to improve the outcomes they are receiving from natural search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s far more reliable to release one well-written, in-depth piece of material with special insights and original research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Assisting Women Run The SEO World

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

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

What advice do you have for a woman pursuing a career in SEO? For a lady desiring a leadership function in the market?

AF: “Being a woman 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 actually been indispensable for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to handle new difficulties, and brainstorming strategies to get more airtime in conferences, get individuals to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I extremely, highly recommend building your network of peers (both inside and beyond your business) 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 fantastic (or, for German readers, “good”) associates and supervisor. And, of course, the live version of Beyonce’s Formation.”

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Included Image: Thanks To Aja Frost