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?
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.
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!