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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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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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book and laptop with many flags to symbolize translation

  Do you ever prepare a white paper for readers who use a different language? Here are five important things to take into account whenever you need a white paper translated to another language. #1: Machine translation is unacceptable Why not just have your white paper translated by Google Translate or Microsoft Translator? These are…

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photo of Niagara Falls frozen by polar vortex

If you live in the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest or Canada, 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 some notable…

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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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