How To Ethically Use A “Swipe File” For Your Ad Copy
Did you ever wish you could afford to hire one of those professional copy writers who charge $5000 or more to write a simple sales letter? Or worse, have you laid down your hard-earned cash for a self-proclaimed “professional” writer, and gotten back something your 3rd grader could have written?
If you spend countless hours staring at a blank page trying to come up with compelling ad copy for that “killer” sales letter (you know, the one that’s going to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams?)… STOP!
Why drive yourself nuts and give yourself a major headache trying to train yourself to be a professional copy writer overnight? Do what the gurus do… start a “swipe file.”
That’s an unfortunate name, swipe file. It sounds unethical. Please understand, I am NOT condoning plagiarism! But every so-called “internet marketing guru” openly admits to having a swipe file that they use when they need a little inspiration.
We’ve all been there, sometimes it’s tough coming up with new things to write about. Depending your topic, it may even be an area that rarely has any new spice to it.
If you’re like most you have no time to do comprehensive research before writing your next newsletter or article.
What If you knew one secret that top online marketers already know that puts tons of fresh content at your finger tips with little time investment?
A swipe file can do all this and a bit more for you by giving you a place to turn.
What’s a swipe file?
It’s a place to store all your resources on a given topic in one place, they can prevent writers block, give you tons of facts to quote, and pull new ideas from.
How do you go about aquiring one?
Whether you use an electronic swipe file using a folder on your computer to search thru, or a paper one, they all have the same benefit.
A paper swipe is as easy to start as grabbing an accordian file from a local office supply store (ask one they all know what they are).
What goes into my swipe file?
* RSS Feeds
* Press Releases
* Other People’s Newsletters
* Reports / Stats / Studies
But how do I know if something should go in my swipe file or not?
It Grabbed You..
Things that grab your attention like good headlines, testimonials or a good story.
It Inspired You..
This can be things that establish good credibility, a great warranty, good testimonials or strong benefits.
It Shocked You!
Some things that could do this would be good statistics, a huge promise, a shocking picture.
Any thrown together swipe file no matter how loose, or organized, has benefits. Remember, they’re always a work in progress and there’s no right way to organize it.
Build your own swipe file and just watch how often you refer to it!
So what is a swipe file and how do you use it legally and ethically?
Basically, whenever you come across an ad or sales letter that makes you want to run and grab your wallet… stop and print out that copy first! Highlight or circle the parts of the ad that have you excited and eager to make a purchase. Then put it away in a folder or notebook. This is your swipe file.
Eventually, you’ll accumulate quite a stack of great professional quality ads. Then, when you’re staring at that blank page trying to compose your next ad campaign or sales letter, you can leaf through your swipe file and MODEL your ad copy after some of those ads… but DO NOT copy them word for word. Substitute your own words and put your own stamp on them. Mix and match different approaches from different ads.
Remember, this is meant to be inspirational, not criminal. NEVER out and out copy these ads. Just analyze how the ad is structured, what TYPES of words are used, and then create your own UNIQUE sales copy by emulating the successful advertising techniques from your swipe file.
The idea is to study copy writing techniques as you go. Eventually, you’ll find you won’t need to refer to your swipe file as often. Your blank pages won’t stay blank for long because you’ll have learned how to write killer ad copy of your own! You learn best by doing it. Then it becomes second nature.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll get so good at writing sales copy that soon other people will be adding YOUR work to THEIR swipe files!