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White papers and… the Greek gods?!

Zeus the king of the ancient Greek gods

In ancient Greece, tales of the gods served to inspire, caution, and educate mortals. Today these legends can guide us to create white papers that ascend to the heights of Mount Olympus. Here are five tips on how these timeless gods and goddesses can inspire us to create more effective long-form content. 3.5 minute read.…

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What’s a good topic for a white paper?

I get that question a lot. One good answer is, “anything that’s hot right now.” And that hot topic should refer to something that’s relatively new, relatively complex, and relatively expensive.  This rule explains why in 2017-2018 I heard from four eight 13 16 24 58 prospects launching new cryptocurrencies, something like Bitcoin. What made cryptocurrencies…

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Quick tip: Understand the audience for your white paper

groups of colleagues all put their hands in to signify understanding

Comedians know it. Politicians know it. And white paper writers must know it, too. The first key to success is to understand your audience. “Understanding your audience will help you write the content they need in the words and the way they need it,” says industry veteran Ginny Redish in her excellent book, Letting Go…

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Do it right: Get a White Paper Blueprint

a blueprint becoming a frame becoming a finished kitchen to signify a white paper blueprint

Would you build a house with no blueprints? Of course not. Would you introduce a new product with no launch plan? Never. Then why should a white paper be any different? But far too often, white papers are started with next-to-no plan. A typical white paper scenario Someone says, “Let’s do a white paper!” And…

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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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White papers versus e-books

seesaw showing ebooks and white papers

So a client asked me to write an e-book. Before I started, I searched high and low for guidance on what makes a good e-book: How long should it be? How many graphics should it contain? Landscape or portrait format? Any other distinguishing marks? Unfortunately, I found that an “e-book” can be just about any…

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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… George Carlin?

George Carlin was the last person you’d expect to have anything to say about white papers. The trail-blazing American comic was better known for his profane and cutting social criticism.  But I’ve discovered a strong link between one of the comic’s lifelong preoccupations and B2B content writing. Who was George Carlin? Any Baby Boomer likely…

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