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 concern is trickier now more than ever– specifically for content online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively attractive course, with practically 45% of freelance and contract respondents making wages above $75,000 each year.

However that doesn’t imply it’s the only feasible career course for material marketers.

In reality, the future looks brilliant for in-house experts as more organizations are finding methods to integrate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing career as a freelance writer making a regular monthly earnings of roughly $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Growth 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 internal content strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and tips for building a gratifying SEO profession.

Becoming An Internal Content Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from an established freelance author to an in-house content strategist?

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

I had to relearn a lot of my impulses– for instance, your manager and teammates tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who normally just appreciate 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 company (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds small, 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 ability.

I spend 5 to 6 hours daily in conferences, and being able to analyze how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re convinced or hesitant, etc, is extremely valuable.

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

If I’m in a larger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m evaluating everyone’s responses. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make certain 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 ecstatic about the free site contractor HubSpot launched a few months back.

It’s really a drag-and-drop website contractor that’s super simple to use (I have actually built a few test websites for fun), and it provides 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 trends into topic-cluster-driven search strategies?

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

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

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

How does globalization affect your planning for content method?

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

Our localization team is unbelievable; for each piece of content they localize, they’re equating not just the words and meaning but matching HubSpot’s design and voice to the target market.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the group will change “biggest,” “finest in class,” “extraordinary,” and so on with “it’s good, and it will help you.”

A lot of material is produced in-language (suggesting the keyword research study is done in Spanish, and the content is produced in Spanish). This ensures we address the concerns unique to our target audience.”

What’s the most effective SEO strategy you ‘d suggest to somebody wanting to improve the results they are getting from organic search?

AF: “Focus on quality over amount. It’s far more efficient to release one well-written, in-depth piece of content with unique insights and original research than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

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

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any ideas for SEO freelancers who have a tough time offering themselves without any past customers under their belts for reference?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical clients, ask another freelancer if you can do some complimentary keyword research or material production 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 remarkable.”

What guidance do you have for a female pursuing a profession in SEO? For a woman desiring a leadership function in the market?

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

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

I highly, highly advise constructing your network of peers (both inside and outside of 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, “great”) colleagues and supervisor. And, of course, the live variation of Beyonce’s Formation.”

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Featured Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost