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– especially for material marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is an increasingly attractive course, with practically 45% of freelance and contract respondents making incomes above $75,000 annually.

But that doesn’t suggest it’s the only viable profession course for material online marketers.

In reality, the future looks intense for in-house experts as more services are finding methods to incorporate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

So, which way do you address the fork in the roadway?

Gain new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing career as a freelance author making a monthly income 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” strategy.

Continue reading as Frost shares her experience of becoming an in-house content strategist, go-to SEO strategies, and tips for building a rewarding SEO profession.

Becoming An In-House Content Strategist

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

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

I had to relearn a lot of my impulses– for instance, your manager and teammates tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, 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 figure out the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, seemed like a huge company (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ staff members.”

What unexpected 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 6 hours per day in meetings, and being able to translate how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not stating, if they’re persuaded or skeptical, etc, is incredibly valuable.

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 alerts.

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

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so excited about the free website contractor HubSpot launched a couple of months ago.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop website builder that’s very simple to use (I have actually constructed a couple of test websites for enjoyable), and it offers totally free webhosting and no cost for connecting a customized domain.”

What trends 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 is useful as a structure.

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

Nevertheless, nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and know-how for finding out which keywords belong together in a post and how those posts must be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for material technique?

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

Our localization group is amazing; for every single piece of material they localize, they’re equating not simply the words and meaning however matching HubSpot’s design and voice to the target audience.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the team will replace “biggest,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” etc with “it’s good, and it will help you.”

A great deal of content is produced in-language (indicating the keyword research study is performed in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This guarantees we respond to the concerns unique to our target market.”

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

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

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

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any pointers for SEO freelancers who have a tough time offering themselves without any past clients under their belts for referral?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some totally free keyword research or content creation for them in exchange for training and your name on a job, and make sure your website looks expert and your own material technique is flawless.”

What suggestions do you have for a woman pursuing a profession in SEO? For a female aspiring to a management role in the market?

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

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

I extremely, extremely suggest constructing your network of peers (both inside and outside of 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 wonderful (or, for German readers, “excellent”) colleagues and manager. And, naturally, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost