From Freelance Author 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– particularly for material online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively appealing course, with almost 45% of freelance and contract participants earning wages above $75,000 annually.

But that doesn’t indicate it’s the only viable profession path for content marketers.

In reality, the future looks brilliant for in-house specialists as more services are discovering methods to integrate SEO into wider 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 author making a regular monthly earnings of roughly $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Growth at HubSpot, where she assisted its Sales Blog site break an 18-month traffic plateau by employing an “organic-first” method.

Keep reading as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal content strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and ideas for developing a satisfying SEO profession.

Becoming An Internal Content Strategist

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

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

I needed to relearn a great deal of my instincts– for instance, your supervisor and teammates tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who typically only appreciate the high level. I was far less self-governing 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 huge organization (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ staff members.”

What unforeseen skill 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 invest five to six hours daily in meetings, and having the ability to translate how someone is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or doubtful, etc, is exceptionally important.

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

If I remain in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m determining everyone’s reactions. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m translating ideas correctly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so ecstatic about the totally free website contractor HubSpot released a few months ago.

It’s really a drag-and-drop website builder that’s very easy to utilize (I’ve developed a couple of test websites for enjoyable), and it uses free webhosting and no cost for linking a custom domain.”

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

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

It’s far quicker to use a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than by hand dig through the SERPs or even Ahrefs results.

Nevertheless, nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and competence for figuring out which keywords belong together in a post and how those short articles should be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for material method?

AF: “Material that has traffic and demand potential in multiple markets will be created in English first and then localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our local blogs.

Our localization group is incredible; for every single piece of material they localize, they’re translating not just 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 team will change “greatest,” “best in class,” “incredible,” etc with “it’s excellent, and it will help you.”

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

What’s the most effective SEO strategy you ‘d suggest to someone wanting to enhance the outcomes they are obtaining from organic search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s far more effective to publish one well-written, in-depth piece of material with special insights and initial research study than 10 higher-level, acquired 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 (method more) time on each post.”

Assisting Women Run The SEO World

Any tips for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride offering themselves with no previous customers under their belts for referral?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some free keyword research study or material development for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and make sure your site looks expert and your own material method is impressive.”

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

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

My support group has been indispensable for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to take on brand-new difficulties, and conceptualizing methods to get more airtime in meetings, get individuals to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, highly suggest constructing your network of peers (both inside and beyond your company) to call on.”

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”) coworkers and supervisor. And, of course, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost