Since the dawn of time the debate has continued. The best copywriters in the world amass huge swipe files.
They trade their swipes like kids trade baseball cards.
“I’ll give you a Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for a Mickey Mantle.”
“I’ll give you a rare Carlton B2B letter and an unpublished Halbert ad for a Jim Rutz magalog.”
Learning how to artfully swipe is probably the most important skill a copywriter can have.
Unless you’ve never written a word of copy in your life yet position yourself as an expert.
Recently, such an expert (who was recently fired from their job for blowing off their biggest JV partner who made them millions) proclaimed that swiping is bad form.
Hope they share that with the Wall Street Journal.
Their famous Wall Street Journal letter was a swipe of an early 20th century letter.
And the new control was a direct swipe of the former control (even word for word).
But for this NON-EXPERT swiping isn’t copy.
Excuse me. That’s Dan Kennedy on the other line. He just spit up his coffee because he NEVER writes copy. He just swipes his old stuff again and again.
Now if you’re swiping copy by plugging in word for word, you’re totally missing the boat.
There’s an ART to swiping copy.
And I showed how all the top copywriters do it.
And at a seminar years ago, I brought in the legendary David Gordon who modeled me live and discovered the secrets of how I produce million dollar swipes time after time.
Now, you can sit and stare at the blank screen for hours being “original.”
Or you can swipe a killer letter and be pretty much guaranteed of a home run.
Which would you choose?
I’ve made my choice quite clear.
Since my birthday is coming up, I’ve lowered the price on The Art of The Swipe.
You can get it here: The Art of The Swipe
To swipe or not to swipe – to swipe from Shakespeare. 🙂
I agree Harlan, we can all learn from the masters – learn and apply not simply copy the copy.