How To Turn Your Swipe File Into A Gold Mine
The Copywriter’s Secret Weapon
by Carl Galletti
If you’ve ever thought to yourself:
“I wish I could write copy that good,”
Well, maybe you can.
I’ll show you how in this short report.
“You are a mashup of what you let into your life.” – Austin Kleon
By its very nature copywriting is a mashup of writing and selling.
So, the wise student of copywriting would be well advised to study both writing and selling. And one of the best ways to do that is to study other experts in those fields.
America’s writing coach, Roy Peter Clark, said in his book “The Art of X-ray Reading”:
“Where do writers learn their best moves? They learn them from a technique I call X-ray reading. They read for information or vicarious experience or pleasure, as we all do. But in their reading, they see something more. It’s as if they had a third eye or a pair of X-ray glasses like the ones advertised years ago in comic books.
“This special vision allows them to see beneath the surface of the text. There they observe the machinery of making meaning, invisible to the rest of us. Through a form of reverse engineering, a good phrase used by scholar Steven Pinker, they see the moving parts, the strategies that create the effects we experience from the page – effects such as clarity, suspense, humor epiphany, and pain. These working parts are then stored in the writer’s toolshed.”
Copywriters…good copywriters do the same thing with copy.
Top copywriters surround themselves with the best examples of good copywriting. And that’s part of the process of becoming a great copywriter.
Every good copywriter has what we call a “Swipe File.”
According to Wikipedia:
“A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven advertising and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a reference of ideas for projects.”
All top copywriters have one and use it to make sure they have the best ideas for the copy they’re writing and to study for their own ongoing education.
By studying other great copy (copy that gets results), the copywriter can learn new techniques or be reminded of techniques learned but forgotten.
And then there’s the wisdom of building on already discovered techniques.
Why reinvent the wheel when you can improve upon something you know already works? That’s the reasoning behind a swipe file.
In 1676 Isaac Newton said:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
And that is exactly what a copywriter does when he studies other good examples of great copy.
But many people get it wrong. It’s not about plagiarizing. It’s about inspiration and education. In this book I show you how you can use a swipe file to your best advantage and turn it into something that puts cash in your pockets…in other words, turns other people’s ads into your own personal GOLD MINE.