From Freelance Writer 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 more difficult now more than ever– particularly for material marketers.

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

But that does not mean it’s the only practical career path for content marketers.

In reality, the future looks bright for in-house professionals as more services are finding methods to incorporate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing career as a freelance author making a regular monthly earnings of approximately $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Development at HubSpot, where she helped its Sales Blog break an 18-month traffic plateau by using an “organic-first” technique.

Keep reading as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal material strategist, go-to SEO methods, and ideas for building a rewarding SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An Internal Material Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from an established freelance author to an internal content strategist?

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

I needed 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 normally only appreciate the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

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

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

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

I invest five to 6 hours each day in conferences, and having the ability to analyze how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re persuaded or doubtful, and so on, is incredibly important.

To facilitate this, I make Zoom full-screen, hide 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 deals with, so I’m assessing everybody’s responses. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and ensure I’m analyzing hints properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

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

It’s really a drag-and-drop site contractor that’s super simple to utilize (I’ve constructed a few test websites for fun), and it provides free web hosting and no cost for connecting a customized 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 techniques?

AF: “AI-driven keyword research is handy 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.

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and know-how for finding out which keywords belong together in an article and how those articles should be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your planning for material method?

AF: “Content that has traffic and need potential in several markets will be produced in English initially and after that localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blog sites.

Our localization team is amazing; for every single piece of material they localize, they’re translating 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 “greatest,” “best in class,” “amazing,” and so on with “it’s great, and it will assist you.”

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

What’s the most reliable SEO technique you ‘d advise to someone wanting to enhance the results they are receiving from natural search?

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

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

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a tough time selling themselves with no previous clients under their belts for reference?

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

What guidance do you have for a lady pursuing a career in SEO? For a woman 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 simpler … but it’s still difficult!

My support system has actually been vital for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to take on new challenges, and conceptualizing techniques to get more airtime in conferences, get people to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I highly, extremely suggest constructing 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 share with my wonderful (or, for German readers, “good”) associates and supervisor. And, obviously, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost