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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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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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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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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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photo of slice of dessert soufflé with coffee

Let’s compare a white paper to a dessert soufflé. Done right, a soufflé is an extraordinary dessert that gets people talking. But making a great soufflé takes skills, the right ingredients and an oven in tip-top shape. If you’re missing one of these factors, your soufflé will fall flat. By the same token, publishing a…

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Not every white paper that’s started ever gets finished. In fact, our data shows 1 in 6 white papers fail. At That White Paper Guy, we recently analyzed 300 of our own white paper projects going back to 1997. We were shocked to discover that 50 of these white papers—1 in 6—were abandoned and never…

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business person confused about how many white papers his company should publish

B2B marketers often wonder: How many white papers should our company publish? How many white papers are really “enough?” The correct answer is “that all depends.” One of my clients asks me to write a white paper every time his sales force comes up against a serious objection.   The more objections, the more white…

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letters SOURCE with mouse to show white paper sources

When you’re searching 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 creates affinity with the reader, strengthens your claims, and proves that your white…

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fingers turning knob through different stages of the customer journey

So you wrote a white paper. Now what? Now it’s time to get it in front of your target readers. And that means doing promotions. There are lots of ways to promote a white paper. In fact, my book White Papers For Dummies includes a list of 40 possible promotions. But not every tactic works for…

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keyboard spelling out how to use dictation

Whether you’re a marketer or a writer, you need to get text out of your mind, onto your screen, and into a file several times a day. Most people do that by typing. If you’re fast, you might get 60 words a minute. But you can talk 2.5 times that fast, at something like 150…

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