Writing White Paper

Writing White Paper-87
That’s why most blog posts are relevant for only a few months.In a way, blog posts are a good place to test out your ideas, as they come together.

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White papers are usually PDF downloads of 3,000 to 5,000 words.

A good white paper is based on established facts and logical arguments, like a well-researched article in an industry journal.

For shorthand, I’ve used “offering” to represent any product, service, technology or methodology described in the white paper. Backgrounder: for prospects near the end of the buying cycle or to support a product launch for journalists, analysts and channel partners #2.

Numbered list: for anyone interested in a light and lively roundup of highlights about some issue or to spread FUD on competitors #3.

It’s not documentation or support, it’s sales and marketing.

For a longer discussion, see my article “When is a white paper NOT a white paper.” Back to top White papers and blog posts are usually quite simple to tell apart.Problem/solution white paper: for prospects near the start of the buying cycle who are using the Web to research a nagging business or technical problem Back to top Remember that there are no “rules” or universal standards for what makes a white paper… By my definition, a problem/solution white paper contains useful information to help people understand some relatively new, complex or expensive offering they are considering buying for their business.There are many other types of useful information, but I don’t consider them white papers.Blog posts are usually webpages, much shorter at 500 to 1,000 words. A blog post can be sheer opinion, or even a rant, more like a letter to the editor.That’s why there are so many blogs: Anyone can shoot off their mouth in a blog.For some better clues, look at the content and format of these documents: The content of a white paper provides useful information for business people seeking to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. Today’s “typical” white paper is 6 to 8 pages long, shorter than in past years.The format of a white paper is somewhere between a technical manual and a glossy brochure… But I’ve seen everything from a two-page flyer to a 100-page book called a “white paper.” The typical white paper looks better than a technical manual, but not as slick as a brochure or ad.Brochures push “emotional buttons” such as fear, greed, envy or vanity.They are generally colorful, flashy and filled with promises.Given this, the majority of white papers fall into one of these three main flavors: #1.Backgrounders describe the technical features and benefits of a product or service #2.


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