From Freelance Author To In-House Leader: Meet Aja Frost

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To work freelance or to go internal? That is the concern.

And the question is trickier now more than ever– specifically for content marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a significantly appealing course, with almost 45% of freelance and agreement participants earning salaries above $75,000 each year.

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

In truth, the future looks brilliant for in-house specialists as more organizations are finding methods to integrate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

So, which way do you address 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 author making a monthly earnings of approximately $6,000.

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

Read on as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an in-house content strategist, go-to SEO methods, and pointers for building a gratifying SEO career.

Ending Up Being An In-House Material Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from a recognized freelance writer to an internal content strategist?

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

I needed to relearn a great deal of my instincts– for instance, your manager and colleagues tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who generally just care about the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to determine the dynamics of working inside what, at the time, seemed like a big company (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ workers.”

What unexpected skill or experience has assisted 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 having the ability to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or skeptical, etc, is incredibly valuable.

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

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m gauging everybody’s responses. And I consistently repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m translating hints properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so thrilled about the complimentary site builder HubSpot introduced a few months ago.

It’s really a drag-and-drop site builder that’s very simple to utilize (I have actually constructed a few test sites for fun), and it provides totally free web hosting and no cost for linking a customized domain.”

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

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

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

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

How does globalization affect your preparation for content strategy?

AF: “Material that has traffic and need potential in numerous markets will be developed in English initially and then localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our local blogs.

Our localization group is extraordinary; for every piece of content they localize, they’re translating not simply the words and meaning however matching HubSpot’s design and voice to the target market.

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

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

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

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

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

Helping Females Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride selling themselves without any previous customers under their belts for recommendation?

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

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

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

My support system has been invaluable 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 people to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, highly recommend 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 regard I show my terrific (or, for German readers, “great”) associates and manager. And, naturally, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost