Someone stole my content!
Let’s start from the beginning though – What even is a swipe file?
A swipe file is a collection of email or copy examples, and other references that you can use to edit with your own content and send out or use as your own.
It’s an insanely effective resource when you need some inspiration for copy, calls to action, or anything in between.
Now that you know what a swipe file is…
Here is my story
I was scrolling through Facebook and read a post from someone in my monthly membership.
The post was eerily familiar and sounded like ME. I had to read it twice and then go read my sales emails for my signature course, just to be sure.
There it was… A whole email copy and pasted on someone else’s newsfeed. All she did was change out the name of my program with hers and add her link.
I gave her the benefit of the doubt and messaged her to see if she had an explanation.
But the post was deleted (I already had a screenshot though )
I waited a few days and then sent her an email letting her know she has been removed from the monthly membership for plagiarism.
There are ethical ways to use swipe files
The main issue is copying the wording for your own marketing exactly as you find it!
Firstly it is illegal and rude to just copy someone’s hard work but, if you simply use someone else’s exact style without really understanding why they’re doing it that way, you will most probably find that it won’t work for you the same way because it is NOT the same business and audience.
Here are 3 tips to using other people’s content as swipe files
Understand and learn the language instead of just copying
If you understand why a certain type of copy is working for someone rather than copying the exact words is kind of like learning a language for your vacation instead of just reading out of a phrasebook.
Knowing how to say a few important sentences might get you to the nearest restaurant and help you order a coffee, but learning the language and using your own sentences means that you might be able to have a proper conversation and make connections with the locals because you speak their language.
It is the same for your copywriting.
By learning the reasons behind the copy and style, you will be able to create your own valuable copy and be more successful.
Keep an eye out for unique words
Even though you want to ideally learn to build and write your own unique writing, you will come across certain words and phrases that come up in successful copywriting over a variety of industries.
These words and phrases are the little gold coins of copywriting.
Take some time to build your own list of all these words and keep them on hand when you are writing your own copy. Having a list of good words and phrases makes it a lot easier when you are writing than trying to think of that word, you know, the one you once saw that is on the tip of your tongue.
Copy the structure
A great time saving tip is to copy the structure of a successful email, ad, etc.
Hear me out, you aren’t copying the content or the copy, just the structure.
There are so many to look at and you can gather a variety of formats, that means that you can make a few different outlines and then can have these formats on hand when you are writing your own copy.
Basically, when you are scrolling Facebook or the internet and you see a sales page, email or ad that makes you want to spend all your money on whatever they are selling – even though you might not need it, or definitely not need it, grab your notebook/phone/napkin wherever you can make notes on and write down the words and phrases that catch your attention. Pay attention to the structure and make notes.
This is your own personal swipe file.
Eventually, you will have quite a full notebook of professional quality copy. This is the goal, then when you have hit a blank and you are trying to figure out your next promotion, email or sales page, you can go through your swipe file and use it as inspiration for your copy…
DO NOT copy them word for word.
Replace your own words and make it your own.
This is meant to be inspirational!
NEVER completely copy these ideas. That is criminal!
So I’d love to know – has this happened to you? Has someone stolen anything from you? What would you have done?
It’s the first time it’s happened to me, so I was thrown off guard for sure.