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Quick Tip: Don’t cross the red line

Companies doing their first-ever white paper often suffer from what I call “The Kitchen Sink Syndrome.” They tell me they want to generate leads. But they’re also dying to tell the world about their brilliant new product. And then they come up with a listicle or two. So they dump all that into one document.…

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White Paper World, November 23, 2022

A newsletter for B2B writers and marketers keen to learn more about white papers Issue 13 • November 23, 2022 Fresh content: Tools of the trade, all in one place Quick tip: Don’t cross the red line Tools of the trade: Rate your headlines for originality and SEO What I’m thankful for: Great books! Just…

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Tools of the trade

hand tools on wooden table

We all need tools, and writers are no exception. Here’s a roundup of all the cool tools of the writing trade mentioned in White Paper World so far. I’ve tried all these and each one earns a solid two thumbs-up from me. And I use most of these tools on every white paper I write.…

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A great example of a numbered list

great numbered list from Robert Reich in The Guardian

I recently came across an excellent example of a numbered list. You know, strawberry? It was a political column published in, of all places, The Guardian online newspaper. It’s clearly not a white paper. For one thing, it’s only 700 words long. And it’s an opinion piece in a newspaper, not a piece of B2B…

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Quick Tip: Case studies and white papers

You can include a case study in a white paper. But you can’t include a white paper in a case study.  Remember the key differences between these formats: A case study tells the story of one happy customer A white paper describes a better way to solve an industry-wide problem A case study usually runs 1,000…

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White Paper World, November 10, 2022

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A newsletter for B2B writers and marketers keen to learn more about white papers Issue 12 • November 10, 2022 Fresh content: Let’s deconstruct a numbered list Quick tip: Case studies and white papers Holiday shopping: Writers love books! Just for fun: October book winner Fresh content: Let’s deconstruct a numbered list I recently came…

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White Paper World, October 27, 2022

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A newsletter for B2B writers and marketers keen to learn more about white papers Issue 11 • October 27, 2022 Classic content: White papers and… Halloween?! Quick tip: Don’t ask dumb questions This just in: Where do you find clients, again? October Book Giveaway: Writers, level up your marketing! Classic content: White papers and… Halloween?!…

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Quick Tip: Pick your idea the way Goldilocks does

A white paper needs an idea that’s not too big, not too small. Just like Goldilocks, you need an idea that’s just right. Here’s how to find one. Say you work for a company that makes electric lawn tools, the kind that run on batteries instead of gasoline. And you’re looking for a topic for…

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White Paper World, October 12, 2022

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  A regular newsletter for B2B writers and marketers keen to learn more about white papers Issue 10 • October 12, 2022 Fresh content: Fix a draft that’s too long or too short Quick tip: Pick your idea the way Goldilocks does Just for fun: September Book Contest winner Fresh content: Fix a draft that’s…

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Fix a draft that’s too short or too long

fix a white paper length

I’ve seen everything from a one-page sales sheet to a 100-page book called a “white paper.” Clearly these are both pretty extreme examples. Most white papers today are 6 to 8 pages of main body copy (2,000 to 3,500 words). And most have a few more pages wrapped around the main body: Front matter at…

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