White Paper Writer

Presenting you as a trusted adviser and respected seller

My role as your white paper writer

As a white paper writer, my role is to present your organization as a trusted entity that sells a respected product and/or service. I do this by appealing to your target audience with logic, not emotion. This sets apart a white paper from most other types of copy, including content marketing ebooks.

The process of writing a white paper is more challenging than writing an ebook, blog post or sales letter. In fact, a whole team can be involved (e.g. writer, designer, subject experts, in-house researchers, reviewers, printer). So, a white paper writer has to be able to understand the wider marketing picture, work in a methodical manner, and coordinate with a bunch of other disciplines.

When I write a white paper, I find myself wearing several hats:  planner, content marketer, researcher, fact-checker, writer, project manager and time-keeper.  

How to write a white paper professionally

It can take several weeks in total to produce a well-written, well-researched white paper that business decision makers (your target audience) will take seriously. It requires careful planning, an organized process, and sufficient production time. That's why I offer a White Paper Planning service in addition to my White Paper Writing Service. 

Planning the topic, deciding on the format, and identifying the contributors and their roles at the start of the project is vital for a successful white paper. You need to pick a topic that will present a solution to your target audience or address an industry-wide problem. Then you need to choose the right format for your white paper, and that depends very much on the white paper's marketing goal and whether you're aiming at the top, middle or bottom of the sales funnel.

Once the planning has been done, the research and writing can begin. Of course, every white paper writer has their own preferred method.  

These are the steps that I take to write a white paper:

  • gather research from your subject matter experts and conduct additional desk-top research
  • organize the research and check all quotes & sources to prove claims made
  • write the report, including an executive summary, buyer’s guide and set of conclusions
  • use a suitable layout and insert footnotes, endnotes or sources into the text
  • send you a first draft to make sure we're on the right track
  • process comments from all reviewers and revise the draft for final approval

The results are a quality white paper that your company can publish and promote with confidence.

The format of a white paper

White papers are factual and informative, so the language must be clear and concise. Benefits must be proven. This doesn’t mean you can’t make your white paper engaging. It's entirely possible to create an interesting and readable document designed to help someone understand an issue, solve a problem or reach a decision.

One of the main reasons a white paper fails is that it oversells. Too much selling irritates the reader and demolishes any authority you were trying to establish. Another good reason for failure? The business didn't hire a professional white paper writer. 

Typical characteristics of a white paper

All white papers must be well-researched. That's because they're aimed at a bunch of trained skeptics, which includes B2B buyers, analysts, technicians, journalists and engineers. And so it follows that white papers generally have a similar format, which I outline below:

  • typically 6- 12 pages long (but they can be much longer)
  • includes a cover, executive summary and content page (and quality graphics)
  • is heavier on words , lighter on graphics (this is not a brochure or an ebook)
  • is objective and educational (use facts and logic to build a case)
  • adopts a neutral style (usually written in the third-person)
  • mentions product or company on the last page only (except for 'backgrounders')
  • usually published as a PDF (easy to work with and a familiar format for most audiences)
  • aimed at businesses, not private individuals (so B2B not B2C)
  • takes 4 - 12 weeks for the team to produce (from beginning to end)

How to publish a white paper effectively

Sadly, not all white papers meet expectations. It may be that the content simply doesn't address the pain points experienced by the intended reader. Or maybe the topic is well chosen but the writing style isn't up to scratch. White papers that are poorly put together are not going to convince audiences your product or service is the solution they're looking for.

But many white papers fail because they’re not publicized effectively. And that’s such a waste of time, money and effort. A well-considered marketing strategy is essential for all white papers. You have to let your target audience know it exists, and you have to encourage them to read it.

There are numerous ways to market your white paper, including:

  • creating a simple, good looking and convincing landing page
  • publishing a press release
  • broadcasting it on social media
  • mentioning it in your e-newsletter
  • adding it to your email signature
  • re-purposing it as other marketing content

Most marketing tactics for white papers are relatively easy to implement, although you may want a little help with those tasks that demand professional writing skills, such as the articles, landing page and press releases. Of course, the best person to ask for help is your white paper writer because he or she would already have all the background information needed. You may even be offered a special deal!

Ready to hire a white paper writer?

White papers are perfect for today's world of inbound marketing. Re-purpose them and you can stretch your investment even further.  Please contact me to discuss your white paper needs.

I've worked with many industries over the years and I have a business background, so I can get up to speed with unfamiliar companies and products quickly, and I work comfortably as part of a team.

Together, we can get your white paper written and published.