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Who do you trust for a white paper source?

newspaper with headline saying Fake News

White paper writers often ask me, “What makes a good source?” Especially in an era of “fake news” and “alternative facts”?! Deliberate falsehoods are spread by many sources today. Those include social media chatbots, agents of foreign governments, clickbait creators, conspiracy theorists—not to mention vendors lying about their products. With all this misinformation, a recent…

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Tips on white paper sources

PROOF stamped on manilla envelope

When you search for white paper sources, any company can claim they’re the best. But finding the evidence to prove that can be tough. Doing research to turn up the right nuggets of proof gives your white paper more authority. Strong evidence strengthens your claims and proves that your white paper is more than one…

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How to make your white papers succeed

diagram showing 3 factors to make a white paper succeed

What does it take for a white paper to succeed? That question has been on my mind a lot lately. And here’s my best answer, based on real-world data. As you may know, we recently analyzed 300 white paper projects I worked on from 1997 to 2020. Of those 300, we judged that 214 were…

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How we analyzed 300 white papers

smiley faces to signify white paper ratings: green orange red

We recently reviewed all the white papers we worked on from 1997 to 2020. The results were fascinating.  Of these 300 white papers, a full 50 were abandoned and never published. That’s 1 in 6. Three dozen more were published, but with clear defects. That’s 1 in 9. That means 214 of our papers (71%)…

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20 top tips for white paper designers

white paper design spelled out in wooden letters

First time ever designing a white paper? You can make that a smash hit or a total flop.  It’s as simple as that. White paper readers don’t demand anything fancy. They just want a document that’s easy to scan, easy to read, and professional. If you give them that, they’ll likely scan it to pick…

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When clients “ghost” writers: Advice for both sides

fuzzy photo of ghost to represent client ghosting a white paper writer

A marketing person asks me to do a white paper for their company. They’re excited to have me on their team. Using my time-tested method, I deliver an executive summary. The client approves it with no reservations. They pay my first invoice. I expand the executive summary into a full-length draft. It’s the right length.…

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