A swipe file is a powerful tool. One that will help a blogger improve drastically and convert their socks off.
A swipe file is most often used by copywriters (that means we can adapt it for blogging). It’s a file that contains templates to letters, documents and images that already work. You take this information and adapt it for your own writing needs. It’s a source of inspiration and practical advice, and will help you find a topic when you have blogger’s block. It has to be updated on a regular basis. The swipe file sits on my desk top and I use it on a daily basis.
I also have a Circle on Google Plus that I add online resources to. The only person in that circle is me, and I add useful articles to it on a daily basis.
My thoughts around a swipe file are simple: if you don’t have one you are not staying on top of your game.
Over at Birds on the Blog I have just reviewed an ebook that has a powerful swipe file. To me this is more important than the content in the ebook. Using this file I can tweak the copy to see what works for me and my readers.
My Swipe Files
I tend to look to learn specific skills, and my most read section of my swipe file is headlines section.
I have uploaded it for you to take a look at.
You can view it online here – Headlines – Get ahead of the competition
I also have a file of images that I use in the courier business and a a file of PDF downloads from van and manufacturing companies. The van file allows me to see the dimensions of a vehicle such as a Mercedes sprinter, and the manufacturers allows me to see an approximate set of dimensions for the items we are looking to deliver. This means that we are aware of “ugly” freight and awkward / fragile items. Not all of our clients keep us informed of the size/weights of items we are delivering, so for us to match the correct vehicle to the job the swipe file is invaluable.
In business swipe files can come in the guise of “standard templates” and you adapt them. These are usually found in the operations manual and department guidelines. If you are blogging for business using your ops manual is a good starting point for writing blog posts, it will give you a valuable insight into why you have certain systems in place.
Image Swipe files
If you blog more than once a week the chances are you have this type of file already. It will contain your royalty free images that you use for blog posts, stock images that you use in your print business and anything that makes you go “wow”.
Do you have a swipe file? Do you call it a swipe file?
What would you share with us that is in your swipe file? Add your links in the comments.
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