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 an increasingly appealing path, with practically 45% of freelance and agreement respondents earning wages above $75,000 each year.

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

In truth, the future looks intense for in-house experts as more organizations are discovering ways to integrate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

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

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing profession as a freelance author making a monthly income of roughly $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 using an “organic-first” technique.

Read on as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal material strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and suggestions for constructing a fulfilling SEO career.

Ending Up Being An In-House Material Strategist

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

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

I had to relearn a great deal of my instincts– for instance, your manager and teammates tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who normally just care about 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 huge organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ workers.”

What unanticipated ability 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 each day in conferences, and being able to analyze how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re persuaded or skeptical, etc, is exceptionally important.

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

If I’m in a larger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m gauging everyone’s reactions. And I consistently duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make sure I’m translating clues properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

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

It’s in fact a drag-and-drop website home builder that’s super simple to use (I have actually developed a couple of test websites for enjoyable), and it provides totally free web hosting and no charge for connecting a custom domain.”

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

AF: “AI-driven keyword research is practical as a structure.

It’s far quicker to utilize a tool to come up with pertinent longer-tail keywords than by hand dig through the SERPs or even Ahrefs outcomes.

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and knowledge for finding out which keywords belong together in a short article and how those posts ought to be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your preparation for material strategy?

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

Our localization group is unbelievable; for each piece of content they localize, they’re translating not simply the words and meaning but matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target audience.

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

A lot of material is created in-language (indicating the keyword research study is performed in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This ensures we address the questions unique to our target market.”

What’s the most efficient SEO strategy you ‘d suggest to someone wishing to improve the results they are getting from organic search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s even more efficient to release one well-written, thorough piece of material with distinct insights and original research study than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

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

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any tips for SEO freelancers who have a tough time offering themselves with no past customers under their belts for recommendation?

AF: “Produce samples for theoretical clients, ask another freelancer if you can do some free keyword research or content production for them in exchange for training and your name on a task, and make sure your website looks professional and your own content method is remarkable.”

What guidance do you have for a woman pursuing a profession in SEO? For a female aspiring to a leadership function in the industry?

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

My support system has been important for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to take on new obstacles, and brainstorming techniques to get more airtime in meetings, get individuals to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I extremely, extremely recommend 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 show my fantastic (or, for German readers, “good”) colleagues and manager. And, obviously, the live version of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost