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 more difficult now more than ever– especially for content marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is an increasingly attractive course, with almost 45% of freelance and agreement participants making wages above $75,000 annually.

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

In truth, the future looks brilliant for internal specialists as more organizations are discovering methods to integrate SEO into broader marketing efforts.

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

Gain brand-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 Development at HubSpot, where she assisted its Sales Blog site break an 18-month traffic plateau by employing an “organic-first” technique.

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

Becoming An Internal Material Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from an established freelance writer to an in-house content strategist?

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

I had to relearn a lot of my instincts– for example, your supervisor and teammates tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who usually just care about the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to determine 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 ability 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 5 to 6 hours daily in meetings, and being able to translate how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or hesitant, etc, is incredibly important.

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

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m evaluating everybody’s reactions. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m analyzing clues correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so fired up about the free site builder HubSpot introduced a couple of months back.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop website builder that’s extremely simple to use (I’ve developed a few test sites for enjoyable), and it provides totally free webhosting 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 methods?

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

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

However, nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and knowledge for figuring out which keywords belong together in a post and how those short articles should be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your preparation for content method?

AF: “Content that has traffic and need capacity in several markets will be produced in English initially and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blogs.

Our localization group is amazing; 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 instance, when localizing an English post to German, the team will replace “biggest,” “best in class,” “extraordinary,” and so on with “it’s good, and it will help you.”

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

What’s the most effective SEO method you ‘d recommend to somebody wanting to improve the outcomes they are obtaining from natural search?

AF: “Focus on quality over amount. It’s far more effective to publish one well-written, extensive piece of content with special insights and original research than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

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

AF: “Create samples for theoretical clients, ask another freelancer if you can do some totally free keyword research or material development for them in exchange for training and your name on a job, and make sure your site looks professional and your own material technique is impeccable.”

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

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

My support group has actually been vital for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to handle brand-new challenges, and conceptualizing methods to get more airtime in conferences, get people to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I highly, highly recommend developing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your company) to get in touch with.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

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

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Included Image: Thanks To Aja Frost