Swipe File: When You Need Inspiration From Above

Swipe File: When You Need Inspiration From Above

A swipe file can be a lifesaver to copywriters.

Some days we just don’t feel ‘it’. Yes, even copywriters are human.

I don’t want to call it “copywriter’s block”, but sometimes our senses are dull and we can’t come up with that snappy headline phrase, or strong closing ‘call to action’.

As with many other types of writing jobs, copywriters need inspiration to make our words magically dance on the page which is where swipe files can provide us with the inspiration we need.

What is a swipe file?

A swipe file is a collection of appealing copywriting or advertising pieces that you keep ion file for reference at a later time.

Your swipe file can be made up of online ads you see (sales letters/emails) and offline (direct mail pieces like letters/postcards).

starOnline, I have a folder in my bookmarks (favorites) called “Copywriting Swipefile“) where I save each sales letter that catches my attention and one I feel I could use later for inspiration.

I can access my swipe file from the top of my browser so it really is ‘inspiration from above’.

writing-webcopy-that-sells_1235654623573So when I’m having one of those days where my brain activity is as low as the tide at dusk, I take a look at my collection of sample copywriting pieces for some ideas in my own work.

After all, if the copy in your swipe file intrigues you, it will most likely intrigue other readers, so not using it and borrowing some of it’s strength would be foolish.

*NOTE: Copying an ad word-for-word is a copyright offense. You must not use the exact wording for your copywriting but it is perfectly fine to use it for ideas. Mix the words around, copy the layout, capture the tone of wording.

Your swipefile can be a goldmine so start building it and treasure it like it is gold.

Stuart Stirling


3 thoughts on “Swipe File: When You Need Inspiration From Above

  1. Thanks for reminding me about swipe files, I have not swipe for a while. I have to agree with you sometime you get writers block and a swipe file can make all the difference.

  2. Hi Stuart,
    Great idea, I started using Evernote and your post has made me realize I have forgotten about it in recent weeks.
    I wonder what gems i will find in there

    Thank you

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