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Quick tip: Build your own list of sources

construction guy holding a clipboard

Here’s how to save time researching your next white paper. Build your own list of sources you trust, and go to them for insights. I’ve said this before: Don’t start with Google. Now I’m doubling down on that advice. Develop your own list of trusted sources. Don’t rely on Google to find them. This works especially…

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5 reasons why writers should explore rhetoric


I never studied rhetoric at school. There were no doubt a few courses on rhetoric in my university syllabus. But I flipped right past them. At the time, I considered the topic old-fashioned, boring, and useless. Oh, the folly of youth! Today, I dearly wish I had taken those courses. I’ve come to see rhetoric…

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7 ways to organize your white paper research

I often say that a white paper writer should “think like a lawyer.” That means building a mountain of research to back up your case. But then, a lawyer has to be able to access it efficiently. They need to keep all the evidence at their fingertips, so they can pluck out exactly the right piece at…

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Who do you trust for a white paper source?

newspaper with headline saying Fake News

White paper writers often ask me, “What makes a good source?” Especially in an era of “fake news” and “alternative facts”?! Deliberate falsehoods are spread by many sources today. Those include social media chatbots, agents of foreign governments, clickbait creators, conspiracy theorists—not to mention vendors lying about their products. With all this misinformation, a recent…

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Tips on white paper sources

PROOF stamped on manilla envelope

When you search 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 strengthens your claims and proves that your white paper is more than one…

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Is it bigger than a breadbox?

Have you ever interviewed a someone who says they have “no metrics” for your case study? Perhaps your source never had to justify their purchase, so they didn’t keep any formal metrics. That means they have no numbers to show how much your offering helped with their business problems… and no numbers you can use in…

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How writing a white paper is like attending a dinner party

Imagine you’re invited to a dinner party with your boss. Think of your current white paper client as “your boss.” You arrive late, make a quick apology and take your seat. The others are already engaged in a deep discussion that sounds interesting and important. You think, “I need to say something impressive soon. After all,…

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Tell the truth! Show your white paper sources

photo of pile of documents with a sticky note saying DONE

When you finish a white paper, what’s next? If you’re like most writers, you send in your invoice, and then take the rest of the day off. But haven’t you forgotten something? What about sending your client all the sources you referenced in your white paper? How about backing up all those claims in your argument with…

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How white paper writers can use high-priced sources

To be an effective white paper writer, you must find good sources to back up your argument. But what if you locate what seems like a great source, but you can’t afford to access it? What if you find a market study with a price tag of $4,995? Or a promising article you can’t download without subscribing to an…

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10 ways to be a good SME

This article from guest contributor Janice King offers a new perspective on how to create high-quality marketing materials by putting together a subject matter expert and a writer. Keep these tips in mind if you provide subject knowledge or share a writer with the engineers and other experts in your company. Have you ever been a SME? As…

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