Online business swipe fileWhat is an online business swipe file and how can it help us?


A swipe file is a collection of source material that we can use as inspiration to create something new in your online business.  This something can range from a catchy headline for an email to a totally new income stream for our business.


Why is it such a good idea to keep a swipe file?  As children we mainly have our parents and teachers as role models.  The advantage we have as adults is that we have access to, and can learn from, the best experts in all areas of live.  The Internet has contributed immensely to expand our exposure!


For our online business swipe file the idea is not to just copy other people’s work, but to trigger our own creativity.  Our swipe file can also be used to repackage old ideas, mix and match and recombine.  It allows us to start with a basket full of ideas, and not a blank page. In an online business one does not have to reinvent the wheel the whole time. Look around at what works and put that into your swipe file for future use.


What should be kept in your online business swipe file?  It could be something abstract like others people thoughts and opinions.  Add your own as well!  Stories and quotes inspire and generate new ideas.  Copy any great headline or slogan. Images and videos can stir the imagination.  Parts of, or complete, blog posts, Internet articles, magazine articles and newspaper clippings should be included.


Include things that work for other people. Include what stimulates your imagination. Include anything with a “wow” factor.


How should you create your online business swipe file?  Mine is both physical and electronic. A physical swipe file can be in the form of files in a filing cabinet, or even just a big box. Be sure to always carry a small notebook with you wherever you go.  Ladies with their ever present handbags have a distinct advantage!  Note down ideas whenever it comes to your.  Don’t do this and the idea will be forgotten and lost within a few hours.


Of course, nowadays you can use your mobile device such as a phone or iPad equivalent to record notes.  One can also use a mobile phone or small digital camera to capture some images or a short video. I still like to also scribble some notes and add some drawing (my caveman art?) if applicable.  At home a writing pad is permanently next to my computer.


The bulk of the material for your online business swipe file would reside on your computer. Just make sure that you create different directories to store the information otherwise you would have difficulty in locating stuff after some time.  One can also use specialized software such as Turbo Note (no affiliation) to keep track of everything.


You can copy and paste text such as headlines, quotes, and posts, and paste into a Word document to save.  Even complete webpages can be copied to your swipe file by using free Firefox Browser add-ons such as Scrapbook. As an online business person you should be using Firefox! Parts of presentations or webpages can be captured by software such as Snagit.  Most videos and webinars can be downloaded with Firefox add-ons.


Images from your camera or mobile can be imported and material from magazines and newspaper can be scanned.


Another way to learn and gets ideas at the same time is to join various mailing lists of other online business.  This can fill up you inbox quite quickly, but you can always unsubscribe at a later stage. Save the ones of specific interest.


I bookmark interesting sites and content on a daily basis.  I find them by searching for key business terms, or they are linked to in emails received. Just be sure to create descriptive directories to save these into.


In summary.  Collect more for your online business swipe file than you think you would use. This is quite easily done ;-).  Whenever you are looking for some inspiration, or just suffer from plain writers block, you can dip into you treasure trove of information!


To your success!




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