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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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5 reasons white papers are challenged: our data and stories

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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6 reasons white papers fail: our data and stories

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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How many white papers are "enough"?

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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18 must-do’s to promote a white paper

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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Tips on using dictation software to write

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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So you have to write a white paper…

logo for white papers 101 blog posts

Got a white paper project on your hands? But you’re not sure where to begin? Here’s a quick-start guide that explains all the basics, and points to some handy resources to help you avoid the most common pitfalls. Why go back to basics now? We’ve covered some advanced topics recently, so we wanted to change…

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12 steps to great white paper project management

A white paper project is a complex undertaking, with many moving parts. Here are 12 steps to an effective white paper project. We created each of these steps after going through a painful experience with a white paper that went off the rails A few were never even completed, despite my best efforts. So consider…

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Crossing the chasm with effective white papers

This is a tale of two white papers, and the companies that planned them. It shows how an effective marketing strategy can help you to create an effective white paper. And it shows how an ineffective marketing strategy can hinder your best efforts to create a good white paper. Along the way, we’ll review a few…

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