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White papers and… letters to Santa?!

Santa Claus reading letters from children

Do you know anyone writing a letter to Santa? I always urge my kids to write one early in December. And that got me wondering: Is a ‘Dear Santa’ letter anything like a white paper? In the spirit of the holidays, here’s a lighthearted look at the similarities between the two… with tips on white…

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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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White paper writer tip #2: Build an argument

head of Aristotle on ancient Greek coin

Every white paper writer must learn how to build a coherent argument. Without one, your white papers won’t convince anyone of anything. But a white paper that presents a strong argument can be right on the money. It can generate great results for years running. The question is, what makes a good argument? And how do…

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A tale of four white papers [with SAMPLES]

four white paper covers

Out of all 300+ white papers I’ve worked on, a few stand out in my recollections. This is the story of four of those projects, and what we can learn from them. There’s nothing magical or heroic about these stories. What makes them memorable is that each project faced a different challenge: An impossible deadline…

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White papers and… backgammon?!

backgammon board and white paper

Yes, playing backgammon is a lot like doing a white paper.  If you don’t know what backgammon is, see the intro below. If you already know the history of backgammon, skip down to “6 similarities between backgammon and white papers.”    Intro: What is backgammon? Backgammon is an ancient game that dates back at least…

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White papers and… baking a blueberry pie?!

blueberry pie with white paper

Believe it or not, creating a great white paper is a lot like making a blueberry pie. Think about all the significant items you need to make a scrumptious pie. It all begins with a good recipe, so you know what to put in (and what to leave out), in all the right proportions. Then…

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Repurposing: Your secret marketing weapon

I’ve worked on white papers, and I have a secret: Less than 1% of those white papers was ever repurposed. Only a tiny handful of my clients, large and small, ever thought about repurposing. And only when I mentioned it.  A secret weapon for marketing That means repurposing can be a secret weapon for any B2B marketing…

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How to pick the perfect flavor for your next white paper

cover How to Pick the Prefect Flavor for Your Next White Paper

How many flavors of white papers are there? Most “white paper experts” list 8 or 10 types of white papers. When I first started in white papers, I used to agree. But after working on of these documents, I’ve made a startling discovery. There are really only three main flavors of white paper. That’s right:…

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White papers and… the polar vortex?!

photo of Niagara Falls frozen by polar vortex

If you live in the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest or Canada, in 2018-19 you probably experienced a tough winter. Snow fell like crazy and the temperatures plummeted. Cars didn’t start, flights and trains were cancelled, meetings were postponed. Even mail wasn’t delivered in some places. Niagara Falls froze over, as shown above. That’s rare. And…

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White paper writer tip #4: Think visually

To create an effective white paper today, text alone doesn’t cut it. Every white paper writer must be able to imagine powerful graphics to help tell their client’s story.  Why? Because white papers are getting brighter, bolder, and more colorful. Great pictures and graphics are a must-have. For best results, you must learn how to dream up images that communicate your key points at a…

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