The Blank Page Blues & the Power of Swipe Files

If you’ve ever stared at a blank computer screen or sheet of paper when you sat down to begin writing a marketing piece, you know how challenging it can be to get started.

Starting a marketing campaign from scratch each and every time is tedious and not a great way to leverage time and creativity, which is why most successful marketers build and maintain a marketing swipe file.

Personally, I have several large boxes in my office where I keep my print swipe files and my marketing radar is always on – looking for new things to add – which might help me in the future (just yesterday I received a cool piece of mail from a credit card company and it’s an idea I’m definitely going to swipe for my marketing).

I also maintain a set of folders on my computer hard drive where I collect and store online marketing examples, like emails and web pages.

I use these swipe files to generate ideas and spark creativity. Sometimes I use the materials for to get ideas for my copy writing, but regardless of what I need to accomplish, by simply maintaining a healthy swipe file of both print and web materials, I can beat the blank page blues.

If you haven’t been keeping a swipe file, here are several ideas to help you get them started.

Offline Marketing (print) – study the mail you’re receiving each day and be on the look out for unique and creative ideas that grabbed your attention. Read magazines and newspapers and pay attention to the advertisements. Again, you’re looking for examples that catch your attention. Pay particular attention to headlines and eye-catching ads.

Recently I took home several ads, from the SkyMall catalog that you find on every airline flight, because the headlines were so good.

When you attend tradeshows or marketing events, don’t just walk through the vendor area – look for marketing ideas you can use in your business.

Online Marketing (web) – watch for email headlines and emails that grab your attention. Either print them off or store them in a folder on your computer. I like to use SnagIt from TechSmith to capture web sites, optin pages and sales letters. SnagIt take a picture of the entire site – no matter how long it is – and I use it many times throughout the day to build my digital swipe file.


And speaking of swipe files… I’m putting together a brand new swipe file book of smart, effective and successful marketing examples and campaigns that used CopyDoodles, CopyComics or any of the other content found on the CopyDoodles Access Club.

All CopyDoodles customers and members are eligible to be included in this book absolutely free (plus I’m going to give you several gifts). It’s a great chance for exposure and free publicity for your business.

To see all the details, visit

Finally, one last point I feel it’s important to make – swipe files should be used for inspiration and to spark creative ideas. I do not recommend simply copying large chunks of a sales letter or squeeze page and using them verbatim in your own business.

I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on using swipe files in your business. What sort of thing do you store in your swipe files? I’d love to hear from you below!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at

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