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One of the most important skills you should be developing as a marketer is your copywriting. If, like a lot of people, you haven't done any writing more in-depth than a grocery list since high school (or college), this can seem like a daunting task. But you have some fantastic tools at your disposal to help you with this that you may not even recognize.

If you are doing affiliate marketing for major product launches, something you can be guaranteed will be provided is affiliates' resources. And something you'll find on any high-quality affiliates' resources page is swipe files. Don't just think of these as marketing tools -- think of them as learning opportunities!

Copying By Hand

Strange as it may seem, this is one of the best ways to learn copy. It's time consuming, even tedious sometimes, but very effective; so effective in fact that it is included in the standard training program of the American Writers and Artists, Inc. (AWAI) as a core practice.

The practice is simple: get some copy from a top-notch copywriter, and simply write out the copy word for word. Writing the copy forces you to pay much closer attention than you would when simply reading it. It allows you to pick up on nuances in the copy, and better absorb the style of the writer.

As you do this with copy written by different people, you will get a much better feel for their style, how they write, what words they choose, how their writing evokes different reactions. Some writers are very up-front, blatant, while others are more subtle. Analyze copy from writers like Gary Bencivenga, versus someone like John Carlton or Peter Stone or Gary Halbert, and you will see what we're talking about.

You can find a lot of good examples of swipe copy from these people online; try the Warrior Forum or just do a few Google searches, and you should find more than enough to get started. Just copy it by hand, possibly more than once; see how you begin to get into their heads and absorb the thought processes. Your copywriting will improve, we guarantee it!

Print It Out!

Don't work from an electronic copy of the swipe on your computer screen! Print it out, have a hard copy you can hold in your hand while you're copying.

Print out copies of multiple different swipes, so you can *see* them, hold them side by side and compare their look and flow. When you're in hard-core learning mode, your office should look like a tornado swept through a stationery store.

The objective is to get as much of your brain and senses engaged as possible when you're in this learning process. Don't underestimate the power of that tactile feedback you get from holding paper in your hand, even the smell of the ink and paper straight out of the printer. It all helps to imprint the ideas and knowledge in your brain!

Build Your Collection Via Email

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One of the best things about collecting swipe copy is that it doesn't have to cost you a dime. Some of the best advertising copy in the world can be had free of charge, because, hey: it's advertising copy. The whole point of its existence is to be distributed to as many people as possible!

Set up a Gmail account to be dedicated to collecting email swipe copy. Then, go shopping: find every major marketer's blog you can and register using this email address. If you're working in specific markets, find major websites for those industries, and sign up there as well.

You shouldn't stop until you're on at least 20 email lists. But frankly, the sky's the limit. Get on 50 lists, or even 100. Just try to stick with major, well known marketers and blogs. Then, just wait for the material to flow in.

Now, when you need copy to work with, you're stuck for a selling point, a headline, whatever, you'll know just where to go. Your inbox for this account will be a gold mine of examples, and you'll be able to use the power of Google's search engine to sift through all that content. Think of all the great material you'll be able to steal -- err, borrow.

Conclusion

Use the power of the Internet to build your collection of advertising swipe copy, then wring every bit of value out of it you can. Study it, emulate it, and practice to build your own copywriting skills. Knowing how to create good sales copy is a valuable skill in itself, and it will multiply the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts immensely. It's worth any and all efforts you put in to it!

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