Did you know that you can teach yourself copywriting by simply studying effective copywriting and practicing the techniques you learn on your business? You don’t need to go back to college to learn how to be a good copywriter; you simply need to be willing to study and practice. One way to study is to start a swipe file collection.
What is a Swipe File?
According to Wikipedia, a swipe file “is a collection of tested and proven advertising sales letters.” Therefore, it’s just a file of inspiration to show you what is working and what makes customers convert. You cannot use the swipe file word-for-word, but you can use the concepts that you find which is one of the reasons to start a collection.
Why is a Swipe File Important?
One thing that most writers like to do is record the things that they hear, see, or read that they like or were intriguing or effective in performing their purpose. The reason they do this is that they like to get inspiration from others. When you know what works already, there is no real reason to reinvent the wheel. They use the information already out there to improve their own writing without having to pay for expensive courses by examining what others are doing.
How to Make a Swipe File
Creating a swipe file can be done in many ways. You can simply go online and find copy that you know is effective and save those pages in a file using software like Trello or Dropbox, depending on your preferences. However, it’s important to organize the files by technique, so it’s easier to find the right inspiration for the day of creating. If you are not sure yet what constitutes success, you can even do a search for swipe files for your niche.
Why Do Swipe Files Work?
When you go to college for writing, one thing you do is study other people’s writing in depth. That’s the same for any creative class. By reading what other people have written, watching commercials, looking at newspaper ads, reading advertorials and blog posts that are popular can only help improve your writing, and you won’t even have to go to an expensive class to accomplish it.
There is one thing to keep in mind about swipe files: it is not permission to plagiarize.
Never copy someone else’s writing.
However, when you can look at someone else’s writing and identify the techniques they used to make it effective, you can start using those same techniques in your own copy with amazing results. For this reason, keeping a swipe file is an important way for you to get better at copywriting.