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

Posted by

To work freelance or to go in-house? That is the concern.

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

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a significantly attractive path, with practically 45% of freelance and contract respondents earning wages above $75,000 per year.

But that doesn’t indicate it’s the only viable profession path for material online marketers.

In reality, the future looks brilliant for internal specialists as more companies are discovering methods to integrate SEO into more comprehensive 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 began her marketing profession as a freelance writer making a month-to-month income of roughly $6,000.

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

Continue reading as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an in-house material strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and suggestions for developing a satisfying SEO profession.

Becoming An Internal Content Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from a recognized freelance writer to an in-house content strategist?

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

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

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

What unanticipated ability or experience has helped you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I invest 5 to 6 hours per day in conferences, and having the ability to interpret how someone is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or skeptical, etc, is extremely important.

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

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m evaluating everyone’s reactions. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and ensure I’m translating hints correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

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

It’s really a drag-and-drop website builder that’s extremely simple to utilize (I have actually developed a couple of test sites for fun), and it offers complimentary webhosting and no charge for connecting a custom-made 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 techniques?

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

It’s far faster 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 intuition and expertise for figuring out which keywords belong together in a post and how those short articles should be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your preparation for material strategy?

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

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

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

A lot of material is produced in-language (indicating the keyword research is carried out in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This ensures we answer the concerns unique to our target market.”

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

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

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

Assisting Women Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride offering themselves with no past clients 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 content production for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and make sure your website looks professional and your own material strategy is remarkable.”

What suggestions do you have for a lady pursuing a profession in SEO? For a lady desiring a management role in the market?

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

My support group has been indispensable for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to take on brand-new challenges, and conceptualizing strategies to get more airtime in meetings, get individuals to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I extremely, highly suggest constructing your network of peers (both inside and beyond your business) to contact.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and respect I show my wonderful (or, for German readers, “excellent”) associates and manager. And, of course, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

More Resources:

Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost