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 concern.

And the question is more difficult now more than ever– specifically for content online marketers.

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

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

In reality, the future looks brilliant for internal experts as more organizations are finding 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-style interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing career as a freelance writer making a month-to-month earnings of approximately $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Development at HubSpot, where she helped its Sales Blog site break an 18-month traffic plateau by using an “organic-first” technique.

Read on as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an in-house content strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and pointers for constructing a satisfying SEO career.

Becoming An Internal Content Strategist

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

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

I needed to relearn a lot of my impulses– 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 self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

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

What unforeseen ability or experience has helped you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I spend five to 6 hours each day in meetings, and having the ability to analyze how someone is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not saying, if they’re convinced or skeptical, etc, is incredibly 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 remain in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m determining everybody’s reactions. And I consistently duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m interpreting hints correctly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

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

It’s really a drag-and-drop site builder that’s extremely easy to use (I have actually constructed a couple of test websites for fun), and it uses totally free webhosting and no charge for connecting a customized 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 techniques?

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

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

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

How does globalization impact your preparation for content strategy?

AF: “Content that has traffic and demand capacity in multiple markets will be produced in English first and then localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blogs.

Our localization group is unbelievable; for each piece of material they localize, they’re translating not just 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 team will replace “biggest,” “best in class,” “amazing,” etc with “it’s excellent, and it will help you.”

A great deal of content is produced in-language (implying the keyword research is done in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This guarantees we answer the questions distinct to our target market.”

What’s the most reliable SEO technique you ‘d recommend to someone wishing to enhance the outcomes they are receiving from organic search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over quantity. It’s even more efficient to publish one well-written, thorough piece of material with special insights and initial research than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Helping Females Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride selling themselves without any past clients under their belts for recommendation?

AF: “Create samples for hypothetical customers, 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 project, and make sure your site looks professional and your own material technique is flawless.”

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

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

My support group has actually been invaluable for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to take on new difficulties, and brainstorming methods to get more airtime in meetings, get people to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I highly, highly suggest building 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 fantastic (or, for German readers, “good”) coworkers and manager. And, obviously, the live version of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost