The Story Copywriter Podcast

Learn how to write stories that sell. Become a professional email copywriter. Sharpen your email marketing skills. If you're a podcast user you can subscribe now on Apple / Google:

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You can also download the episode MP3 files from this page. To receive a free email notification when new episodes are published join the Story Copywriters email list.

If you're new to the show please start at Episode 1: What is a Story Copywriter. The MP3 download link is always in the top right of the player.


Recent Episodes

Browse our most recent episodes below. The most recent episode is at the top.

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

What time of day is best to write for optimum production? The short answer of course is ‘it depends on you’. However, after working as a copywriter for many years, and training many clients, I think the question of ‘when to write’ is more nuanced than it seems!

In this episode I discuss:

  • My personal experience of writing at different times, and how to manage your energy
  • How to minimise distractions
  • WHERE to write, not just when
  • Why drinking copious amounts of coffee may be hindering your writing
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

I invited Orson back onto the Story Copywriter Podcast to continue our discussion about storytelling in video.

This wide-ranging conversation covers:

  • Can you use ‘cliff-hangers’ in video to keep people watching?
  • The ‘bouncy start’ vs the ‘chronological start’
  • Different use cases for short and long form video
  • The role of white space in story planning
  • The role of background music
  • Why sound effects matter more than music
  • The different roles of sympathy and empathy in good storytelling
  • How to use pacing to keep people watching
  • How to specialise and collaborate as a Story Copywriter

Find out more about Orson’s work at https://www.mediable.com.au/

Listen to Part 1 of my conversation with Orson here.

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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

Have you ever been through an extended period of struggle in your life or career, culminating in radical personal transformation?

If so, you have a ‘rebirth’ story on your hands! Learn how to apply the lessons of Sleeping Beauty, Frozen and Scrooge to your business storytelling. Learn:

  • Why the rebirth plot is the close cousin of tragedy
  • Why the plot is universally engaging and recognisable
  • Who should use this plot to build trust with potential customers
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

The ‘tragedy’ plot covers a wide range of stories that lack the ‘happy ending’ we are so used to seeing.

From a business storytelling perspective, you might be wondering, “why would I tell a tragedy story?” Why would you tell a story without a happy ending?

The answer is to draw your reader’s attention to a potentially deadly problem they may have overlooked. 

Listen now to learn:

  • Why the ‘dark character’ in a tragedy plot is never truly ‘evil’
  • Why tragedy stories have persisted in literature across milennia
  • Why tragedy is relevant and pertinent to every one of us
  • How and when to use it in business storytelling
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

The comedy plot archetype first emerged in Ancient Greece, and has played an important role in literature over the last 2000 years.

Can you use the comedy plot in business? Yes! Do you need to be funny to use it? NO! (Which for me at least, is just as well).

Listen now to learn:

  • The key element at the heart of every successful comedy plot
  • Where to use the comedy plot in your marketing (hint: probably NOT up front)
  • How the comedy plot can help build trust with potential customers
  • Why the comedy plot is a versatile hammer to have in your storytelling toolkit
Read More

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

This episode of the Story Copywriter Podcast looks at the second plot based on a journey: ‘Voyage and Return’.

Voyage and Return is a versatile plot, with wide ranging applications for business use. Listen now to learn:

  • Why the return matters MUCH more than the journey
  • Why the voyage should cause you to question your sense of self
  • How to escalate drama and suspense throughout the story
  • Why this plot is useful for business storytelling
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

Want to place a truly engaging story at the heart of your marketing? One of the oldest and most engaging plot archetypes is the quest…

It’s tempting to think of the quest as a ‘journey’. And while there IS always a physical journey in every quest, the journey is only a part of the hero’s ordeal!

Learn how the quest plot works in practice, what the main ingredients are, and how to use it in a business setting. In this episode Rob explains:

  • The role of companions and ‘helper characters’ in every good quest plot
  • The key characteristics of a quest
  • The number one ingredient of a successful quest plot
  • How to apply to a business setting
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

The ‘Rags to Riches’ plot is perhaps the easiest plot to use in business. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get wrong, because most marketers only write about their riches!

The secret to Rags to Riches is that neither the rags nor the riches actually matter much (and are subjective). What matters is the part in the middle.

What is that part? Find out in this episode, and learn:

  • Why ‘Rags to Riches’ is potentially a good place to start using the plot archetype
  • The key elements of a good Rags to Riches story
  • How the plot can go wrong
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

This episode reviews plot 1 of 7 from Christopher Booker’s book ‘The Seven Basic Plots’, and examines potential use cases in business. Listen now to learn:

  • Why ‘Overcoming The Monster’ appears so often in literature
  • The key elements of an ‘Overcoming The Monster’ plot
  • Why I believe this plot likely isn’t right for your ‘signature story
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Prefer to read rather than listen? Download the PDF Version

Anyone can tell stories. Stories are an everyday part of the human experience. But what allows a great story to stand the test of time?

This episode takes a deep dive into the plot archetype structure. Rob reviews Christopher Booker’s book The 7 Basic Plots, and examines whether we can apply the key lessons to business storytelling. Listen now to learn:

  • Why the plot archetype structure is a tool, not a requirement
  • How to leverage deep principles to tell better stories
  • How and where to use the plot archetype structure in your marketing

Listener Feedback

“Listened to your episode today. Opened my ears and eyes.
Really helped me get the storytelling formula into my thick head.

I was good at science in school – absolutely sh1t at English because I just couldn’t get my head around there not being a right or wrong answer.

Or should I say formula for good essay/article/email writing etc

Thanks for getting it all into perspective for me.

Looking forward to next weeks pod now.”

John Pickering

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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

It’s prediction time for 2022! Where should you focus your storytelling efforts? Listen now to learn:

  • Why writing alone is a bad idea
  • Different options for ‘copywriting in community’
  • The three best ways to tell your story in your marketing (for 2022 and beyond)
Read More

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Podcasting allows you to create your own ‘radio station’ to nurture potential customers.

In this episode I share my experience of three years of podcasting, including:

  • How to determine the scope of your podcast
  • Whether to record monologue or dialogue
  • How to repurpose your podcast episodes into other media
  • How to structure your podcast to deliver your message
  • The technology I use
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

A book is an excellent way to promote your work and your business. Amazon has made book publishing easier than ever… in theory!

The question is, what should you write about? Should you include part of your personal story? How long should the book be? What offer should you put in the book? How long should the whole process take? What kind of results should you expect?

Get answers to all of the above – and more – in this episode of The Story Copywriter Podcast! Listen now to learn:

  • How to plan your book to maximise results
  • How and where to tell your story
  • How to convert readers into paying clients
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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

“Which email marketing system should I use?” is perhaps the most frequently asked marketing question.

It’s also the wrong question to ask!

Listen now to learn how to identify the right email marketing tool for your needs.

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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

How often do you lose time trying to find an email you sent in the past? How often do you spend time trying to diagnose why an email sequence isn’t working?

At some point things can and will go wrong in your email follow-up systems. When things go wrong it’s the quality (and existence) of your documentation that will save your sanity.

No more digging around in Gmail trying to find an email you created three years ago. No more digging around in old email campaigns. Listen to this episode to eliminate the confusion for good…

Listen now to learn:

  • The three types of copy documentation you need in your business
  • Which documentation platform I recommend (and why)
  • What to include in your documentation
Read More

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Many email marketers are trying to automate every email a potential customer is sent across the entire customer journey. But is this ‘hands free’ approach really attainable… or desirable?

I believe you need a balance in your marketing between automated emails, and live ‘out of the pan’ broadcasts. Listen now to learn:

  • Why automated emails suffer from entropy
  • Where to place automated email sequences
  • How long your automated email sequences should be
  • How to repurpose your best emails into other formats
Read More

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

When you’re a ‘Story Copywriter’ you’re the written voice of a business you love. Maybe even your own business.

But can you – and should you – tell your personal stories in video? If so, how should you go about it? Do you need to become a professional videographer? 

The answer is, no! In this episode, I interview videographer and storyteller Orson Lord. Listen now to learn:

  • Who should tell their personal story in video
  • How long your video should be
  • How to promote with ads – and where
  • How telling your story can improve lead quality
  • Why you shouldn’t attempt to tell your own story by yourself
  • What kit you need to get started (and why you might already own it)
  • Lighting tips for an engaging video
  • The $20 app that will save your sanity while recording
  • A framework to help tell your story

Find out more about Orson’s work at https://www.mediable.com.au/

Read More

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

A good story told well helps to build trust with new potential customers. But can you – and should you – tell personal stories on social media?

The answer, in my opinion, is yes! BUT it’s also easy to get wrong. It’s easy to appear self indulgent. 

Listen now to learn:

  • How to open your story on social media to draw people in
  • How to structure the story to keep people reading
  • How to end the story – and where to stop
  • What images work best
Read More

Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Learning to write compelling stories is a valuable copywriting skill – but it also takes time and dedication.

Should YOU take the time to become a Story Copywriter? Is this a good match for your skills, interests and ambitions? Find out in this episode!

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Please note the MP3 download link is in the top right corner of the player.

Are you a business owner who also likes to write? If time allowed, would you write more of your own copy?

If yes, you may be a good match for ‘Copywriting in Collaboration’!

Listen now to learn:

  • Why the balance of copywriting responsibility sits on a continuum
  • Why Copywriting in Collaboration allows everyone to play to their strengths
  • The mindset required to deliver great results
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