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


To work freelance or to go in-house? That’s the query.

And the query is trickier now greater than ever – particularly for content material entrepreneurs.

Based on our State of web optimization 2022, freelancing is an more and more enticing path, with virtually 45% of freelance and contract respondents incomes salaries above $75,000 per yr.

However that doesn’t imply it’s the one viable profession path for content material entrepreneurs.

In reality, the longer term appears vivid for in-house professionals as extra companies are discovering methods to combine web optimization into broader advertising efforts.

So, which manner do you go on the fork within the street?

Achieve new perception from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her advertising profession as a contract author making a month-to-month earnings of roughly $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Progress at HubSpot, the place she helped its Gross sales Weblog break an 18-month site visitors plateau by using an “organic-first” technique.

Learn on as Frost shares her expertise of changing into an in-house content material strategist, go-to web optimization strategies, and ideas for constructing a rewarding web optimization profession.

Turning into An In-Home Content material Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from a longtime freelance author to an in-house content material strategist?

Aja Frost: “My transition from freelancing to in-house was six years in the past, however I bear in mind it was difficult.

I needed to relearn lots of my instincts – for instance, your supervisor and teammates are inclined to need extra frequent/detailed updates than your purchasers, who sometimes solely care in regards to the excessive stage. I used to be far much less autonomous than I’d been as a freelancer.

As well as, I had to determine the dynamics of working inside what, on the time, felt like an enormous group (~1,700 folks). Now that sounds small, as HubSpot has 7,000+ staff.”

What sudden ability or expertise has helped you as a advertising chief and web optimization strategist?

AF: “Energetic listening and observing might be my most-used ability.

I spend 5 to 6 hours per day in conferences, and with the ability to interpret how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not saying, in the event that they’re satisfied or skeptical, and so forth., is extremely priceless.

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

If I’m in a bigger group, I hold scanning faces, so I’m gauging everybody’s reactions. And I constantly repeat again what I’m listening to so I can problem my assumptions and ensure I’m decoding clues appropriately.”

Go-To Content material Instruments & Strategies

What’s your favourite function inside the HubSpot platform, and why?

AF: “I’m so excited in regards to the free web site builder HubSpot launched a couple of months in the past.

It’s truly a drag-and-drop web site builder that’s tremendous simple to make use of (I’ve constructed a couple of take a look at websites for enjoyable), and it presents free hosting and no value for connecting a customized area.”

What developments are you seeing in how AI influence key phrase analysis? How do you are taking and switch these developments into topic-cluster-driven search methods?

AF: “AI-driven key phrase analysis is useful as a basis.

It’s far sooner to make use of a software to give you related longer-tail key phrases than manually dig by way of the SERPs and even Ahrefs outcomes.

Nonetheless, nothing beats an web optimization’s instinct and experience for determining which key phrases belong collectively in an article and the way these articles must be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization have an effect on your planning for content material technique?

AF: “Content material that has site visitors and demand potential in a number of markets can be created in English first after which localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blogs.

Our localization workforce is unbelievable; for each piece of content material they localize, they’re translating not simply the phrases and that means however matching HubSpot’s type and voice to the audience.

For instance, when localizing an English put up to German, the workforce will substitute “best,” “greatest in school,” “unbelievable,” and so forth. with “it’s good, and it’ll provide help to.”

Lots of content material is created in-language (that means the key phrase analysis is completed in Spanish, and the content material is created in Spanish). This ensures we reply the questions distinctive to our goal market.”

What’s the best web optimization approach you’d suggest to somebody wanting to enhance the outcomes they’re getting from natural search?

AF: “Give attention to high quality over amount. It’s far more practical to publish one well-written, in-depth piece of content material with distinctive insights and authentic analysis than 10 higher-level, spinoff items.

Should you’re not getting the outcomes you have to be once you have a look at your key phrases’ goal MSV (month-to-month search quantity), decelerate and spend (far more) time on every put up.”

Serving to Girls Run The web optimization World

Any ideas for web optimization freelancers who’ve a tricky time promoting themselves with no previous purchasers underneath their belts for reference?

AF: “Create samples for hypothetical purchasers, ask one other freelancer if you are able to do some free key phrase analysis or content material creation for them in trade for coaching and your title on a venture, and ensure your web site appears skilled and your personal content material technique is impeccable.”

What recommendation do you may have for a lady pursuing a profession in web optimization? For a girl aspiring to a management position within the business?

AF: “Being a girl within the web optimization business and a feminine chief in tech is getting rather a lot simpler… however it’s nonetheless powerful!

My assist group has been invaluable for serving to me vent after I expertise sexism, pushing me to tackle new challenges, and brainstorming methods to get extra airtime in conferences, get folks to take me critically, and advocate for myself.

I extremely, extremely suggest constructing your community of friends (each inside and out of doors of your organization) to name on.”

What empowers you as a robust feminine chief?

AF: “I’m empowered by the belief and respect I share with my fantastic (or, for German readers, “good”) colleagues and supervisor. And, in fact, the stay model of Beyonce’s Formation.”

Extra Sources:

Featured Picture: Courtesy of Aja Frost


Scroll to Top