From Freelance Writer 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– especially for material online marketers.

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

However that doesn’t imply it’s the only feasible profession path for content online marketers.

In fact, the future looks intense 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 new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing profession as a freelance writer making a monthly income of approximately $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 utilizing an “organic-first” method.

Keep reading as Frost shares her experience of becoming an internal content strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and pointers for constructing a fulfilling SEO career.

Ending Up Being An Internal Material Strategist

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

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

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

In addition, I had to find out the characteristics 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 unforeseen ability or experience has helped you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I invest 5 to 6 hours each day in conferences, and having the ability to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not stating, if they’re persuaded or skeptical, etc, is exceptionally valuable.

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

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m assessing everybody’s reactions. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m translating ideas properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so ecstatic about the complimentary site contractor HubSpot released a few months ago.

It’s really a drag-and-drop site builder that’s very simple to utilize (I have actually built a couple of test sites for fun), and it uses free webhosting and no charge for linking a customized 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 study is useful as a structure.

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

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and knowledge for determining which keywords belong together in an article and how those short articles need to be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for material strategy?

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

Our localization team is unbelievable; for every single piece of content they localize, they’re translating not simply the words and meaning but matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target audience.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the team will change “greatest,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” and so on with “it’s excellent, and it will assist you.”

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

What’s the most efficient SEO strategy you ‘d suggest to someone wanting to improve the outcomes they are obtaining from natural search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over quantity. It’s much more reliable to publish one well-written, in-depth piece of material with unique insights and original research than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

If you’re not getting the outcomes 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.”

Assisting Ladies Run The SEO World

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

AF: “Create samples for theoretical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some free keyword research study or content development for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and make certain your website looks professional and your own material method is flawless.”

What guidance do you have for a female pursuing a career in SEO? For a lady desiring a management function in the market?

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

My support group has been vital for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to handle brand-new difficulties, and brainstorming strategies to get more airtime in meetings, get individuals to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I highly, extremely suggest developing your network of peers (both inside and beyond your business) to contact.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

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

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost