Et Scribis

Content and Copy

Harness the Secret of Great Headline Writing

If you’re new to the business of copy and content writing it’s a safe bet that you haven’t heard of swipe files-a kind of open secret in the industry that has helped thousands of copywriters over the years write great headlines that get results. But what are swipe files anyway and how can you use them to catapult your writing over the ramparts of audience indifference?giphy

Swipe Files – Hook Them the Easy Way

According to good, old Wikipedia a swipe file  “is a collection of tested and proven advertising and sales letters.” In other words, swipe files are crib sheets for writing. But, what qualifies as a swipe file and where do you find them?

Writing a persuasive headline that actually sells is one of the hardest things any copywriter ever faces. For most of us, no one has ever explained to us what actually makes a headline a success and so we are left to our own devices. Unfortunately, many
of us confuse writing clever and “catchy” copy with effective writing and we lose the battle before we even begin. But, there is an easy way out of the conundrum that doesn’t require a lot of study or forethought: swipe it. Swipe files are collections of headlines, ads, postscripts, brochures and phrases taken from your existing work or “swiped” from elsewhere that have proven to work in the past and serve as a reservoir for content creation when you’re stumped or are facing a serious writer’s block.

Skeptical? Well, I have to admit that I was too at first until I took the time to review a few swipe file collections and discovered that they were being used everywhere. Knowing about the existence of swp files has completely changed the way I look at and read copy. And, if you’re still reading theres a good chance that you were hooked by my headline. Right? If so you’ve just fallen victim to a swiped headline. Well, not entirely swiped of course, but all good swipe files contain the elements of a persuasive headline (something which we will get into at a later date). Now, that you’re in on the secret make a difference in your writing today and start compiling your own swipe files.



About Michael Rickicki

I am a freelance writer, translator, social media manager and co-owner of a mid-sized automotive accessories manufacturer and retailer in Brooklyn.

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2014 by in Content Writing and tagged , , , , , , , .
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