Why You Should Keep A Copywriting Swipe Notebook

Why You Should Keep A Copywriting Swipe Notebook


A Copywriting Swipe Notebook is a notebook wherein you copy down examples of copywriting that you find as you read other writers' copy. It's a personal collection of what you consider good copywriting.

I think everybody who writes should have a Copywriting Swipe Notebook and here's a case in point to show you just one of the potential instances where you might want to do it. 

It's Saturday morning here in beautiful Barranquilla, Colombia where I live and I just got up. As usual, the first thing I do is check my email.

In my email I see an email from some guy who I could have sworn I had already unsubscribed from…but I read it anyway.

As I'm reading through it I very quickly realize that I have absolutely zero interest in anything its talking about and my immediate impulse it to DELETE it.

But wait!

I do notice one thing.

I notice a phrase that pops out at me and I think, "I've heard that phrase a million times before". 

The phrase is, "Believe me when I say that you've never seen anything like it."

Of course I think to myself, "Yeah….Bullshit!"

But nevertheless I realize that if I have seen that phrase so many times before that there might be a reason copywriters are using it. Maybe the reason is because it works in 'getting the click'. 

So what did I do?

I wrote that phrase down in a spiral notebook that I recently started specifically for the purpose of capturing copywriting phrases that 'the BIG dogs' use. I figure that if it's making money for somebody else it can make money for me too.

The point of this story?

The point of this story is that I may or may not ever use that phrase in my own copywriting. Very possibly it will soon be buried in pages and pages of similar notes (if I really get into the habit of taking copywriting example notes like this). 

But at least I'm making an effort to train my mind to be perceptive to the techniques of other copywriters. After all, the person who wrote that email is probably making money doing it, right?

I think that you can always benefit from copying success but you have to learn to recognize it first. In copywriting, you can just be observant of what other successful copywriters are doing.

Experts know that it's OK to copy success. I'll never forget one of the learning techniques taught in the first writing courses I ever took from AWAI (American Writers and Artists Institute). The course was, "Six Figure Copywriting", one of their biggest courses on copywriting. 

One of the things which that course recommended was taking recognized masterpieces of copywriting and copying them out by hand. Sure, that's a lot of work. But the physical act of doing it also embeds those words in your mind.

And that's the object isn't it…i.e. you want those words and phrases to become part of your skills inventory, right?  

If you do this, I think you'll gradually become increasingly perceptive to what good copywriting is. After all, the basic formulas don't change. They make other copywriters lots of money every day and if you learn them, they'll make money for you too. 


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