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The Lede

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The Lede is a weekly, short-form broadcast hosted by Jerod Morris and Demian Farnworth. Each week, they answer your questions about copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, conversion optimization, mindset, and much more.






The Evolution of a Successful Copywriter

How one freelance copywriter found his groove, and how you can find yours, too. Lots of our listeners are freelance copywriters — and many more would like to do some writing as a “side hustle,” whether or not you ever want to go full-time. In this 31-minute episode, I chat with freelance writer and content... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:30:48

5 Ways to Manage a Stress-Induced Creative Slump

Stressed out? Anxious? Just out of sorts? Stress can wreck havoc with your creative productivity. Here are some thoughts on how to manage it. These are stressful times, and you’ve probably noticed that it’s hard to be your best self when you feel crummy. Learning gets difficult, energy levels sink, and good habits start to... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:18:30

5 Stinky Sardine Secrets to Make Your Content More Fascinating

How to stand out in a sea of boring content? It might be time to get stinky … Content marketing only works if your content is interesting enough to make people want to read, listen to, or watch it. So how can we make our content more fascinating? You can start by thinking about what... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:23:32

7 Ways to Improve Your Marketing by Harnessing the Power of Evil

Think marketing is evil? Only if you’re doing it right … Every once in awhile, I run across someone who hates me, my job, my website, and my company, because after all, marketing is intrinsically interesting. In this 9-minute episode, I share my favorite techniques for enslaving the wills of others to sell your products... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:10:59

Getting Your Big, Scary Projects Finished: A Conversation about Growing Gills

A look into why it’s so hard to move forward with creative work This week I was so pleased to be able to connect with Jessica Abel, author of Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life. In this 34-minute episode, Jessica and I talk about: Business (especially digital... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:34:12

Smart Questions from our Brilliant Audience

A collection of great questions from our smart audience! I love audience questions! Thanks to four thoughtful folks this week for asking questions (or leaving their thoughts) to spark this week’s responses. In this 26-minute episode, I talk about: Whether the flood of crummy ebooks is damaging the market The four points that I believe... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:25:27

Does the Web Have Enough Patience for Your In-Depth Content?

A comment from one of our blog readers sparked some thoughts… A reader left a great question as a blog post comment, and the answer took us to some fundamentals about the role of content on our sites. In this 17-minute episode, I talk about: Why I’m not a fan of “monetizing” your site Why... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:17:29

How to Write (Much Better) Blog Comments

Seems simple enough, right? Then how come so many people are terrible at it? In principle, leaving a comment on someone’s blog, podcast, or social media account doesn’t seem too tricky. Enter your name and other info, write down your thought, and click Post Comment. In practice, too many folks leave comments that are weak,... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:19:50

10 Quality Factors Search Engines Need to See on Your Site

What do the search engines mean by a “high quality site”? While technical SEO still exists, a huge chunk of modern search engine optimization consists of “generating high-quality content.” So what does that mean? When a search engine ‘bot looks at your site, what kinds of things is it looking for? In this 23-minute episode,... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:23:23

Which Works Better: Positive or Negative Content?

Which works better in content marketing — positive messages or negative ones? Well … it depends. On the one hand, as content marketers, we want to associate ourselves and our content with lots of great feelings — that’s what makes our audience want to spend more time with us. On the other hand, negativity bias... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:24:56

How to Attract the Exact Customers You Want

Being able to visualize a specific and vivid “who” is one of the most important things you’ll ever figure out in your marketing or your business. Digital marketing always offers fun and shiny new tools to tempt us — but it’s wise to keep your eye on the fundamentals. And there’s nothing more fundamental to... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:15:57

How to Create Stability and Success as an Artist

We all know the cliche of the starving artist — but how about the thriving artist? Jeff Goins has some advice on how to “build a bridge in the direction of your dream.” Today we invited our friend Jeff Goins to talk about his new book, Real Artists Don’t Starve. In this 33-minute episode, Jeff... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:33:38

Advice for Poets, Advice for Killers

William Maynard of the Bates agency once wrote that “… most good copywriters fall into two categories. Poets. And killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers as a means to an end.” And David Ogilvy famously added,”If you are both killer and poet, you get rich.” We’ve talked before about the Killer and... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:21:20

Two Powerful Resources for Life-Changing Growth

Can we change who we are? Are we stuck with the aptitudes and habits we have today, or can we make fundamental changes? And if change is possible … are we up to the challenge? It’s funny when you think about it — virtually everyone wants to change. They want to be smarter or richer... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:16:51

How to Turn All that Marketing Advice into Action

Are you a “training addict”? Wondering how to handle all of the marketing and business information you’re taking in? Allow me to suggest a plan. It’s easy to say, “Just don’t read or listen to any more marketing advice until you implement what you already have.” But digital marketing and business do change. Besides, learning... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:21:20

How to Develop a Compelling Marketing Idea in 4 Steps

Want to be more persuasive? You need to start with a great idea. Here’s how to develop one. We think of ideas as coming in a flash of inspiration … but when you’re talking about the “big idea” that informs persuasive communication, it pays to actually develop your idea systematically. Brian Clark thinks a lot... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:21:21

Getting Over the Fear of Selling

Is your fear of selling keeping you from where you want to go? Selling is part of business — but it makes a lot of us nervous (especially writers, I’ve noticed). I think that’s because we have skewed “Glengarry Glen Ross” ideas about what effective selling truly looks like, and we don’t understand the structures... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:23:26

Talking Community and Digital Business with Tara Gentile

A business community for the new economy I had a lot of fun talking with Tara Gentile about her new community for digital business owners. In our 28-minute conversation, we talked about: How Tara engineered a community that got past the bias for whining The difference between selling education and delivering educational experiences Why we... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:32:23

Plagiarism, Self-Deception, Bad Sandwiches, and Other Interesting Disasters

Perception is not reality. Reality is still reality. The great thing about the Internet is, when people do really dumb stuff, we all get to find out about it … and maybe even learn something. Today, I share some lessons from a pair of extremely public missteps. These include: What a great attitude and hard... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:19:48

Seth Godin and How to Create Change

A conversation about what matters in marketing and business. I was delighted to be able to catch up with our friend and one of my favorite teachers, Seth Godin. In this 19-minute conversation, we talk about: The fundamental shift in how Seth sees marketing differently His thoughts on fake news and the “post-truth” online environment... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:19:26

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