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Episode 345

Brand, Content, and Chill vs. Hustle time – with Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is the co-founder and CEO of the audience research software startup Spark Toro, He has dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through his writing, videos, speaking, and his book, Lost and Founder.

Episode highlights:

  • How Spark Toro helps solve the problem of gathering data on hard-to-reach audiences quickly.
  • Insights into the differences in founding and running Moz versus SparkToro, highlighting personal growth and maturity.
  • Rand discussed his struggle with depression, his departure from Moz, and the importance of mental well-being for entrepreneurs.
  • “Link in bio”… does that change Insta engagement? Here’s what the research says.
  • How Rand separated himself from an incredibly strong brand association.
  • The concept of “chill work” as an alternative to the hustle culture, advocating for a balanced approach to work and life.
  • A fun new project that is taking Rand’s attention (in addition to SparkToro).

Lightning Round with Rand Fishkin:

Connect with Rand Fishkin

Quotes from Rand Fishkin‘s episode:

  • “I think the two most helpful things are time and distance.”
  • “One of the hardest things for me during COVID was just this sense that I couldn’t plan anything. I can’t make future plans because the future is so risky and unknowable.”
  • “Being able to disconnect yourself from a brand identity is immensely difficult.”
  • “It’s that maturity that comes with age where you start to have the wisdom of perspective and experience.”
  • “It’s painful to have this sense of being tied to a brand identity”
  • “I kinda just want to reply with the rolling eyes emoji, and then just get back to my day.”
  • “It’s difficult to make paid content as engaging as organic content.”


  • Insights into the evolving landscape of digital marketing, especially the balance between organic and paid content.
  • Emphasizing the importance of aligning work with personal values.
  • The shift in digital platforms towards prioritizing content that keeps users engaged on their platforms.
  • Either create on the platforms or create in your own place and share the “scraps” to get linked back to your site.

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