How to Break Through Your Creativity Block

How to Break Through Your Creativity Block

One of the most powerful techniques to unleash your creativity, overcome your creativity block, writers’ block, artists’ block or just that general feeling of being stuck in a creative prison, is the use of a swipe file.

A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven advertising and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file (templates) is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a ready reference of ideas for projects.

All of Us Have Used Swipe Files

You’ve probably used a swipe file sometime in your life without even knowing it. If you ever saved articles, quotes, or photos for future use in a presentation, you’ve used a swipe file. All of us had to write papers during early years of schooling. We collected and organized facts, figures, illustrations, and quotes. It was part of our research. They helped support our theories, arguments, theses, proposals, and dissertations.

But, for many of us, once our schooling ended so did our active use of swipe files. In the information-saturated world of the Internet, many use swipe files, at least passively, though we may not even realize it. If you use services such as Pocket, Pinterest, Diigo, Digg, or Gistbox (for code), you’re using a form of swipe file.

If you want to become a bulletproof blogger, you must become an active, aggressive user of swipe files. They can inspire your creativity. Be a source of ideas and improve your productivity.

What Should I Collect in My Swipe File?

So what do you put into a swipe file? Here are just a few ideas:

  • headlines
  • copy
  • quotes
  • landing pages
  • squeeze pages
  • banner ads
  • Facebook ads
  • newsletters
  • marketing emails
  • bonus materials
  • opt-in forms
  • contact forms
  • sign-up forms
  • surveys
  • typography
  • webpages
  • images
  • book covers
  • promoted tweets
  • code
  • course descriptions
  • course curricula

These are just a few potential uses for a swipe file. The focus of your blog and the interests of your readers play a big part in what you collect in your swipe files.

A Collection of Recipes

Think of a swipe file as a collection of recipes. Need an opt-in form? Look in your swipe files to find high converting opt-in forms. Add your content and branding and incorporate it into your blog.

Once you begin to collect content in an active, critical, manner, you’ll become more aware of how successful bloggers promote and present their content, sell their products and advertise their services.

You’ll discover new content that may inspire an article on the same subject, but with your unique perspective.

Instead of spending hours hastily researching to develop a new landing page, you’ll have a quick reference of tens or hundreds landing pages examples you can tap into for inspiration.

Every landing page, Facebook ad, and website design become an opportunity to learn. A vehicle to jumpstart the creative process for your landing page, Facebook ad, and website design.

In my next article, I’ll tell you how to organize your swipe files for quick and easily access to all of the content you collect.

In the meantime, here are few swipe file resources you might find useful:

Blogging Titles Swipe File from ZenOptimize

Best of 2014 Email Swipe File by Salesforce.com

Facebook Ads Swipe File on Pinterest

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