January 6, 2014
Welcome back! Personally, I don’t know any copywriter or non-fiction writer that doesn’t use a swipe file. Hands down swipes are used for many purposes for example:
- article titles
- email subject lines
- blog titles
- sub titles
- headlines, etc.
The list could go on and on.
Swipes are the best way to get more of what you want (Clicks and traffic) and give more to your readers (Great content with Awesome flowing titles). Hold the phone… notice what I just said… “Great content with awesome flowing titles” This would be a good time to discuss something really important here about swipes.
You’ve spent time creating great content, why would you use a poor title that you’re readers wouldn’t click on so they can read your latest master piece?
Famous copywriters such as Eugene Schwartz, Gary Halbert, Michael Fortin John Carlton , Ben Hart and so forth, all have taught their students that using swipes are essential in any writers arsenal.
It is known that Eugene Schwartz, thought the “assembling of Copy” not writing copy an original process to a fresh and original approach. He hated copy cat writers that stole sentences, headlines and sub heads and used them in their own ads.
Let me further explain…
What are swipes
Swipes are headlines, titles, subject lines, bullet points, pages of books, that are proven to get responses. The last 4 words in the last sentence is paramount. “Proven to get responses”. The best way to know whether a headline, subject line, blog post, is getting a response is to watch and see if it is repeated.
“How to stay young til 90” was Gene Schwartz’s headline for a mail order book how to stay young all your life, by Dr. Clement G. Martin M.D.
If you see an ad continue for months or years in a publication you can rest assured that the ad is making money. Copywriters may use the headline in this way…
“How to blog til 90”. The whole point of swipe file is to not copy word for word, but rewrite the portion of “swipes” to fit what you are writing.
“7 Proven ways to live in health, wealth and happiness til 90”.
When you see an ad, book, magazine, newspaper, etc, that catches your attention in your niche be sure to save it or copy and paste it to notepad or something. Then when you need a title for your article, blog post, and sales letter, you will have a working swipe file that you know will attract others to your content.
That’s what swipes are.
How to Build your own Breakthrough swipes
I have several boxes of hard copy swipes that I like to thumb through and use from time to time. Some of it is from junk snail mail, magazines from the 40’s – 90’s and some are photo copied ads. This is called a swipes file.
Regardless of what you write, every writer should have a hard copy source of swipes in your file box
4 effective Tips for building breakthrough swipes
Books Stephen King, has written many books. One of my favorite’s is “Salem’s lot”. King is a master at cliff hangers and that book has one at the end of every chapter. The first time I read it, I couldn’t put the book down because of these cliff hangers that made me want to turn the page and find out what happened.
You can write cliff hangers like Kings, by creating your own cliff hanger for your own content.
You can also use words, phrases and bullets from the back of the book. Just be sure not to plagiarize.
Click Bank is a good place on the web to find really good swipes idea’s. Just go to clickbank.com and in the marketplace section you can find almost any subject by clicking on the categories tab on the left side bar. Once you have chosen a category, you will see digital products on the page. The first two pages are the best sellers, so you can be sure that those salesletters are full of well tested headlines and sentences that you can make your own.
Hard To Find Ads is another fantastic place to begin building your own breakthrough swipes. Hard to find ads dot com has covers of magazines and other advertisements that have been proven income generators of all time. The best thing about hard to find is the copy still works like gang busters.
email this is one of my favorite swipes. The best way to do this is by using a free email service like gmail, or yahoo. Warning Don’t use your own personal email for this strategy. Once you have your email setup, sign up for as many newsletters, ezines, blogs, or house lists of well known people in your niche.
When you need a good title, headline, opening sentence or even a call to action, all you have to do is log into your swipe email and search the subject lines that catches you and pulls you into the email message. If your looking for an opening sentence do the same thing. Look for great openers, closes and call to action. Be sure to save the best ones in a file and delete the rest.
Finishing up breakthrough swipes
Well there you have it, 4 effective tips for building your own effective breakthrough swipes. From this blog post you just discovered why copy in writing is called copy writing. You now know what a swipe file is and how to build your own digital and hard file of effective breakthrough swipes that you can model for your own content.
Thank you for reading Breakthrough Swipes.