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 harder now more than ever– specifically for content online marketers.

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

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

In truth, the future looks brilliant for in-house professionals as more businesses are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

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

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing profession as a freelance author making a month-to-month income 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 employing an “organic-first” strategy.

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

Becoming An Internal Material Strategist

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

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

I needed to relearn a great deal of my impulses– for instance, your manager and colleagues tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who normally only appreciate the high level. I was far less self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to figure out the dynamics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a big organization (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ employees.”

What unforeseen skill or experience has assisted you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I invest 5 to six hours per day in conferences, and being able to analyze how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not stating, 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 shut off all alerts.

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m evaluating everybody’s reactions. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make certain I’m analyzing hints properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so excited about the complimentary site home builder HubSpot launched a couple of months back.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop website contractor that’s super simple to utilize (I have actually constructed a few test websites for fun), and it uses totally free web hosting and no cost for linking a custom domain.”

What trends are you seeing in how AI impact keyword research? How do you take and turn these trends into topic-cluster-driven search methods?

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

It’s far quicker to use a tool to come up with pertinent longer-tail keywords than manually dig through the SERPs and even Ahrefs results.

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

How does globalization impact your planning for content technique?

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

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

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the team will replace “greatest,” “best in class,” “incredible,” and so on with “it’s great, and it will help you.”

A great deal of content is created in-language (indicating the keyword research study is carried out in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This ensures we address the concerns unique to our target market.”

What’s the most reliable SEO strategy you ‘d advise to someone wanting to improve the results they are getting from organic search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s even more effective to publish one well-written, extensive piece of content with distinct insights and initial research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

If you’re not getting the outcomes you need to be when you take a look at your keywords’ target MSV (monthly search volume), slow down and spend (way more) time on each post.”

Assisting Women Run The SEO World

Any pointers for SEO freelancers who have a difficult time selling themselves without any previous clients under their belts for referral?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical 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 site looks expert and your own content strategy is impeccable.”

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

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

My support group has been invaluable for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to take on new challenges, and conceptualizing methods to get more airtime in conferences, get people to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, extremely recommend building your network of peers (both inside and beyond your company) to contact.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and respect I show my fantastic (or, for German readers, “great”) coworkers and supervisor. And, naturally, the live variation of Beyonce’s Formation.”

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost