About the author

Jerod Morris

Jerod Morris is the VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media. Get more from him on Twitter or . Have you gotten your wristband yet?

The Most Important Lessons You Should Have Learned in 2014

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For so many of us, the end of every year revolves around holiday celebrations and spending quality time with friends and family. As it should.

But the end of the year is also a time for purposeful reflection — for considering the successes and failures of the year gone by, and for making sure that lessons have been learned and that plans are in place to hit the ground running in the new year.

On this episode of The Lede, Demian Farnworth and I spend a little time purposefully reflecting on 2014 and the most important lessons we will carry forward with us into 2015.

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How We Built Our Careers Online (And What You Can Learn From It)

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The two biggest concerns for the average blogger are obscurity and sustainability.

In other words … for the vast majority of us who set sail creating content online, we want to first develop an audience; and then, once we have an audience, we want to find a way to earn a living from our content.

The first concern can feel daunting enough, because building an audience isn’t easy.

The second concern can feel damn near impossible — because despite countless examples of people who have done it, sometimes we struggle to see ourselves succeeding in the same way.

Which is silly.

So long as you’re willing to take pride in working hard and have a humble heart and mind when it comes to learning from the people who have already done it, you can achieve sustained success online.

In this episode of The Lede, Demian Farnworth and I share some of our personal stories of success and failure online, in the hopes of inspiring you and educating you (but mostly inspiring you).

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Interview with Brian Clark: How Customer Experience Maps Help You Develop a Smarter Content Strategy

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Well isn’t this a pleasant surprise.

After we published the third installment of our three-part series on content strategy, Brian Clark informed me that he had the perfect follow-up topic for the next episode.

Sure, Mr. Clark, I think we can make room for you in the schedule. ;-)

Consider this a bonus fourth episode in the content strategy series — and it goes next-level.

Empathy is essential because it allows you to feel what your audience members feel, but what if you could get inside their hearts and walk a few steps in their shoes as well?

You can. Here’s how …

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How Empathy Maps Help You Speak Directly to the Hearts of Your Audience

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As we enter the conclusion of our three-part series on content strategy, you should already know what your audience believes about the world and have a narrative mapped out that will allow you to confirm your audience’s worldviews.

Now it’s time to explain the final piece of the content strategy puzzle. This piece creates an emotional connection between you and your audience. It’s a component that makes your audience think: “Hey, they get me. They understand me. They know what I’m thinking and feeling.”

I’m talking, of course, about empathy — the ability to identify with and vicariously experience the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of someone else.

But how do you incorporate that ability into your marketing? And why does this process help create a memorable brand?

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How to Ignite a Feeling in Your Audience

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Articulating the goal of content marketing, a wise man once wrote:

You lift prospects out of their ordinary worlds and invite them to consider a journey that ultimately leads to a transaction.

Easy to say. Not so easy to do.

We know that to lift our audience members out of their ordinary worlds we need to tell a compelling story — a story in which the audience member sees himself or herself in the role of hero while we play the role of mentor.

But how do we get from Point A (the concept) to Point B (the actual story that takes an audience on a transformative journey that results in a transaction)?

You’ll find out on this week’s episode of The Lede.

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The Rainmaker Reseller Program: Come See What All the Fuss Is About

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Content marketing works. This is no longer up for debate.

Granted, there are no shortcuts. You have to publish useful content that stands out above the noise, you have to do it consistently over the long haul, and your content strategy needs to place you into a particular kind of role relative to your audience.

When you do all of this, content marketing works and you give yourself an unfair business advantage.

But there’s one major problem with content marketing.

Guesses?

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