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

Posted by

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

And the concern is harder now more than ever– specifically for content marketers.

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

But that does not suggest it’s the only viable profession path for material marketers.

In fact, the future looks intense for in-house specialists as more services are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

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

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing career as a freelance writer making a month-to-month earnings of roughly $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Development 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 internal material strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and tips for constructing a gratifying SEO profession.

Becoming An In-House Content Strategist

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

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

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

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

What unforeseen ability 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 5 to six hours per day in meetings, and having the ability to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not saying, if they’re convinced or hesitant, and so on, is incredibly important.

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

If I remain in a bigger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m gauging everyone’s responses. And I regularly duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make certain I’m translating clues correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so fired up about the complimentary site home builder HubSpot released a couple of months ago.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop site builder that’s super easy to use (I have actually built a couple of test sites for fun), and it offers complimentary web hosting and no cost for connecting a customized domain.”

What trends 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 study is handy as a foundation.

It’s far much faster to utilize a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than manually dig through the SERPs or even Ahrefs outcomes.

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and proficiency for determining which keywords belong together in a post and how those articles ought to be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your planning for material strategy?

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

Our localization group is unbelievable; 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 example, when localizing an English post to German, the team will replace “biggest,” “finest in class,” “extraordinary,” and so on with “it’s great, and it will help you.”

A lot of content is produced in-language (suggesting the keyword research study is performed in Spanish, and the content is created in Spanish). This guarantees we respond to the concerns unique to our target audience.”

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

AF: “Concentrate on quality over quantity. It’s much more efficient to release one well-written, extensive piece of content with unique insights and initial research than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Helping Females Run The SEO World

Any tips for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride selling themselves with no previous clients under their belts for reference?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical clients, ask another freelancer if you can do some totally free keyword research study or material creation for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and make certain your website looks expert and your own content technique is impressive.”

What recommendations do you have for a lady pursuing a profession in SEO? For a woman desiring a management role in the industry?

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

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

I extremely, highly advise constructing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your company) to call on.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

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

More Resources:

Featured Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost