5 Tips for Creating a Swipe File

5 Tips for Creating a Swipe File

Are you new to blogging?  Have you been spending all of your time researching everything under the sun and trying to adjust to the foreign language that bloggers speak?  Metadata, SEO, permalinks, CSS, opt-in’s….Ummm, what?! Been there, done that!  

A while ago I received an email from a blogger that I adore offering up a free download of her “swipe file”.  I didn’t initially think anything of the term itself, but of the contents it included.  Until, not long after that, I kept seeing opt-ins from bloggers that included “swipe files”.  My interest was piqued and I had to find out what these “swipe files” were all about.  In my research, I have found that most of us are already creating swipe files and may not even know it yet.  OoooOooo……intrigue….

First off, swipe files are files that you create containing references to ideas that you can keep on hand for when you are having a brain block.  Kind of like a vision board, but they are more detailed.  These references can be headline ideas, graphics, pins, or content from bloggers you admire.  Important note: these references are NOT to be used for direct use, but to serve as a resource to help you come up with your own idea.  Otherwise, it is called plagiarism.

Now, as I said earlier, we have all been creating swipe files already, how you may ask?…drumroll please….using PINTEREST, whaaaaaattt.  Pinterest is like one big swipe file.  However, while you create boards and save pins that are cohesive with your niche, you may not be using it in the manner of a swipe file.  

Creating a swipe file doesn’t have to be done using Pinterest, that is just the most convenient for a lot of people since they already have a Pinterest account.  However, you can create one on your desktop or use google drive.  I do advise that you keep it somewhere that you can access from anywhere.  This way if you are away from your work computer, you can still access it on your phone or tablet.  

Also, to get you started, download and print the Swipe File Checklist.

 

 


So without further ado, here are 5 Tips for Creating a Swipe File

  1. Figure out which platform will hold your swipe file.  
    • Cloud account
    • Folder on desktop
    • Evernote
    • Pinterest (tip: use a secret board)
    • A binder on your desk
  2. Start Researching:
    • Google
    • Pinterest
    • Twitter
    • Facebook group boards
    • Emails
  3.  Start filling your file
    • Include links to sites
    • Know why you are putting it in your file
      • What about the file is catching your eye
      • What is the purpose of the file
    • Include your own past emails, graphics, or post that have worked well
    • Include your own brain dump documents
    • Copy/Paste certain parts of posts that you’d like to emulate
  4. Make notes

As I’ve said earlier, this file is strictly for inspiration purposes only.  Not to copy exactly what you’ve found.  Make notes on these files that include what you like about them.  How you think it can influence your writing or creativity.  Write down what you have interpreted from the text that makes it interesting to you.  If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

How you think it can influence your writing or creativity.  Write down what you have interpreted from the text that makes it interesting to you.  If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

Write down what you have interpreted from the text that makes it interesting to you.  If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

If your swipe file is on Pinterest, create a secret board for your swipe file and change the description of the pin to include your notes, that way you can just take a quick look at why you’ve saved that pin instead of having to keep opening the link.

     5. Use your file regularly

If you don’t get into the habit of using your swipe file on a regular basis, you may forget it’s there and then its purpose is moot.  Research at least 15 minutes a day and add findings to swipe file.  We all know full well how the internet can be a MAJOR time suck, so setting a timer on your phone and narrowing down what you are searching for will help you stay on track.  For instance, my Google search for “swipe files” led to related searches like swipe file examples, and swipe file definition.  So I then honed in on those areas and only those areas so that I didn’t get off on a search tangent.   

Also, include a daily brain dump.  Again, set your timer for 15 minutes, open a blank document and start writing.  Write down everything that pops into your head and save it to your swipe file.

Total, this is only 30 minutes of work daily.  I know I can find 30 minutes, especially when broken up into two 15 minute time frames.  

Come on, now it’s your turn.

Swipe files are great to have on hand, and hey, if they have inspired you and been successful, you can even turn it into an opt-in.  Check out my Swipe File Checklist here.

 Pin to read later!

Creating Swipe File

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