Marketing (i.e., catnip) for Writers (i.e., dummies)

Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore
3 min readApr 14, 2022

Marketing makes as much sense as a staircase into a blank wall.

Writers are contradictory animals. We’re shy, but we also want our stories to get attention. There’s a psychotic break there somewhere. Not sure exactly how that works, but it does. We want to tell stories to people.

The thing we don’t want to do is take on a second job. For most of us, writing is already our second job, after whatever it is that’s paying the bills. Then we do our writing. Many writers, especially early in their careers, that’s two jobs already. Job A pays the bills, and Job B is writing. Odds are good that Job A isn’t already marketing, and odds are even slimmer that Job A is marketing for yourself. The headache is that marketing is a deeply complicated, weird monster, requiring a degree of expertise to tame it. While doing marketing right for one client (one writer is one client, see), isn’t necessarily a full-time job, it’s a part-time job. And you can’t learn just some marketing, so you need to fill your head with a lot of weird terms (algorithm, PPC, ad-spend, ick), no matter how much marketing you have to do, you have to learn how marketing works.

Review: A writer, early in their career, has two jobs already. Job A that pays the bills and causes headaches. Job B pays no bills and causes bigger headaches, even if it does justify the title of writer. To make Job B into Job A, writers need Job C.

In the end, the question is: where are the shortcuts?

Now, the most important thing anyone wants to know is how to cut corners and skip steps in the more necessary tours on their road to success. Don’t deny it. You know you’re one of them.

There are a hundred punters on the internet who’ll tell you that there are no shortcuts. All the corners have already been rounded for ergonomics.

Which is true.

It’s also not true.

Here’s the thing: there is one shortcut. Only one. There is one hack that speeds up the process, and only…well, actually two hacks. One hack is a sack of cash. The other hack, though, is much cheaper.

This hack is powerful, and it only works at beginning stages of any marketing endeavor. Because marketing is cyclical, it has a lot of beginnings, so you can use this hack a bunch of times. Just put it in front of your eyes and build.

Here’s the hack:

Figure out someone you like and talk at them.

I go into more detail about what that means on my website (link below). I was going to write it all out here, but I realized that would be repeating work. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Be cool, guys.



Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore

The best part of being a mime is never having to say I’m sorry.