Here’s How to Answer the Most Important Question in Life (and Make a Living from It)

Why bother?
Each and every morning you and I both wake up and ask ourselves that question. Some mornings we don’t even think about the question, but answer it deliberately by jumping out of bed and bolting for the office.
In these cases, we bother because we care deeply about what we do. We feel like we matter. Then there are the other mornings …
Mornings where you roll over and eye the clock. The alarm will sound within minutes, but you have no desire to get out of bed. It has been a long week — and it’s only Tuesday.
On these days — which may turn into months or even years — you hate what you do and feel like you don’t matter. That’s a terrible feeling, and you need someone to come along and tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.
Fortunately, there is someone.
And that person is Bernadette Jiwa, a branding consultant based in Perth, Australia. She’s an Amazon bestselling author and just a plain, old-fashioned storyteller — who is, by the way, speaking at Authority Rainmaker this May in Denver, Colorado.
A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to talk to her — about her books, her blog, and her unique approach to branding. And ultimately, about how a business can satisfy customers by answering that terribly important question about life.
In this 42-minute interview you’ll discover:

Bernadette’s insightful response when I confessed why Copyblogger’s editorial department has a crush on her name.
What it

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Sally Hogshead on How You Can Unlock Your Natural Ability to Fascinate

You have a natural ability to fascinate others that you may or may not be taking full advantage of.
And getting in touch with this “fascination advantage” can pay big dividends, both in business and in your personal relationships.
Sally Hogshead is a copywriter-turned-Catalyst who teaches you how to tap into your natural ability to fascinate by giving you a better understanding of how the world sees you at your best.
Those of you who are going to Authority Rainmaker this May will get to experience Sally’s passion, energy, and innovative ideas live and in person. She is one of the keynote speakers.
And in today’s episode of The Lede, we bring you a little taste of what that will be like. (Plus a special offer to take Sally’s Fascination Advantage for free so that you can find out what your archetype is.)

In this episode, Sally Hogshead and I discuss:

How Sally went from copywriter to Catalyst.
The critical difference between being merely interesting and being fascinating.
The archenemies: distraction, competition, and commoditization (and why they damage your marketing).
What the results of the Fascination Advantage assessment really tell us about ourselves.
The importance of having an Anthem and how you construct one.
How Sally applies her own ideas at home, as a parent.

Oh, and I hope you like the new music.
Listen to The Lede …
To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

Click here to download the mp3 |

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The New Authenticity and Authority: What it Looks Like, How to Use It

Jon Stewart’s retirement from The Daily Show this week, accompanied by many tears and some cheers, is getting a lot of coverage around the web.
First, because the show is insanely popular.
But more than that, because the show demonstrates a real shift in what authority and authenticity look like in the 21st century.
In 2007, Stewart came in fourth in a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press as an admired journalist. (He tied, interestingly enough, with Brian Williams.)
The Daily Show is a very different creature from the news parodies that came before it. Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update might make you laugh (some years), but no sane person relies on it for an analysis of what actually matters in the news. By contrast, in 2008, The New York Times asked if Jon Stewart might not be The Most Trusted Man in America.
You may not like Jon Stewart, which is fine by me. Because whether or not you care for his view of the world, he has a lot to teach you about how to present yourself to your audience.
Authenticity and authority: 21st century style
One anchor. Five correspondents. Zero credibility. ~ an early Daily Show tag line
Jon Stewart is a writer and standup comedian, and never made any pretense of being a credible source for the news. His primary purpose was to entertain and engage. He didn’t start The Daily Show, but it did seem to pick up some

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Split-Testing 101: How to Know Which Words Work

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~ Mark Twain
That Twain guy was pretty smart. But he had to rely on the intuition that comes from years of writing to choose the right word, and even then it was still a guess. Poor guy.
Nowadays, we’ve got technology that allows us to easily know what the right word, phrase, or headline is, at least when it comes to getting people to take the action you want. But all the tech in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what to test, or test incorrectly.
To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, I invited Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers to give us free consulting share her wisdom at the intersection of creative copy and no-nonsense testing.
In this 35-minute episode Joanna and I discuss:

Her approach to email opt-in button copy
What every real copywriter should focus on
The starting point for building any “new” audience
Why what you want to write doesn’t matter
The number of conversions you need to make a good call
The type of language you should split-test
How to know what site areas to test in the first place
The recurring theme of conversion testing that works

Click Here to Listen to Rainmaker.FM Episode No. 27
Or, grab it in iTunes.
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post

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7 Steps That Will Hook Readers On Your Content through the Magnetic Force of Fascination

Throughout your journey to overcome online obscurity, you produce a lot of content.
Content marketing is about making a connection with your audience and building relationships. Since you invest time and effort into your writing, you want to see tangible results.
But what if your posts aren’t getting the engagement you need to take your digital media platform to the next level? How do you create content that deepens your connection with your audience?
The answer may lie in the specific reason why we absorb certain information, while overlooking other content.
Emotions trump intellect when we make decisions
Emotions almost completely dominate our decisions and experiences. For instance, when we run into trouble or experience a strong emotion like fear, we tend to obsess over it. We can become irrational.
Suddenly, our fear overshadows and prevents logical thought processes. When the problem is relieved, we’re free from the constraints of our emotions. We’re more open, agreeable, and compliant. We’re able to think rationally again.
Everything starts with emotion. Memories affect our thoughts and opinions; feelings affect our moods and behaviors. The human limbic system is the gatekeeper for all higher thought processing and evaluation.
In order to build relationships with your audience, you have to first connect with readers on an emotional level.
Because when emotion is missing, we’re not really engaged.
If readers aren’t interested and engaged, they’re unlikely to keep reading. And even if they do read your content, they’re less likely to digest it; it’s less likely to make

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Guide to Inspirational Writing

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall

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Position Your Content Curation for Success With These Five Essential Elements

Last fall, Robert and I did an episode of the podcast where we laid out how content curation could be used to build an audience and even a business. It was one of the most popular episodes of 2014.
We did that episode based on a personal project I was already planning to do. I quietly launched that project last month, and it’s called Further. It’s a curated email newsletter dedicated to living your best life, with features and news items related to health, wealth, and wisdom.
Here are a few sample issues:

Three Real Ways to Protect and Enhance Your Brain Power
The Epic Food Fight: Plants Versus Paleo
Meditate to Dominate in 2015

Given the initial high interest (and several requests), I’ve decided to do a “behind the scenes” case study on myself, revealing what I’m doing and why, plus what’s working and what’s not. This episode and the next two will be the first leg of that case study.
If you’re interested in the possibilities at the intersection of curation and email marketing, I think you’ll get a lot out of these episodes. Even if you’re not sure about that, there are a lot of fundamental content, copywriting, and entrepreneurial insights throughout. At minimum, you can watch a new project develop in real time, with commentary.
Enough said … let’s get started.
In this 36-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

The two primary keys to building an audience with curation
The element that makes curation a financially viable approach
How to make

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