Skip Nav

White Paper

How to write a white paper

❶If you are selling a product or service in a competitive environment, then cost will be a decisive factor. Your intro should quickly hook your audience while covering the main points the rest of your document will cover.

When I first started writing white papers more than 20 years ago, I looked all over for a FAQ.

What is a white paper
Navigation menu
So, What Are White Papers, Exactly?

A few years ago, there have been instances of successful ICO campaigns being posted on various Bitcoin-related forums, with the white paper as the first message of the thread. These days, however, as the ICO craze seems to be at its peak, most of the projects opt for posting their white paper on their website.

Avoid copying and pasting it on several different platforms, instead you can simply post a link to it when promoting your project on different forums and websites. As with any other semi-complicated business-related documentation, there are numerous white paper templates available online. Generally, the use of such templates is frowned upon by both the cryptocurrency community and the investors. At the end of the day, a white paper is your main selling point. Hiring a freelancer to do this job for you can only lead to a sub-par result and, as a consequence, your failure to raise funds required.

Hottest Bitcoin News Daily For updates and exclusive offers, enter your e-mail below. What is a white paper Every single Initial Coin Offering ICO in the market needs a white paper if it is to become a successful campaign. Talk about the project Take as much space as you need to talk about your project in-depth and explain to the potential investors exactly where it fits within the current market.

Talk about the team The team are an integral, crucial part of the project, and they should be presented as such. Style, language and layout When preparing a white paper, make sure to use formal, almost academic-style writing. Where to post the white paper A few years ago, there have been instances of successful ICO campaigns being posted on various Bitcoin-related forums, with the white paper as the first message of the thread.

ICO white paper templates As with any other semi-complicated business-related documentation, there are numerous white paper templates available online. Examples of successful white papers Some of the examples of well-written white papers and successful ICOs include: More guides Bitcoin for beginners What is Cryptocurrency.

Guide for Beginners What is Bitcoin? History, characteristics, pros and cons How to Buy Bitcoin: Guide For Beginners What is Ethereum. Guide for beginners Guide on Ethereum Wallets: What main problems do white paper writers encounter? How can you learn more about white papers? Where do you find clients? White papers past, present, and future Where did white papers come from? Where are white papers today? Where are white papers going in the future? Back to top What exactly is a white paper?

A manifesto on how to solve a certain problem A "bait-piece" The glue that holds a campaign together An information widget A way to freeze-dry ideas A rare document that can be all things to all people Clearly none of these exotic definitions do the trick.

For some better clues, look at the content and format of these documents: In a word, no. Anyone can call anything a white paper. White paper experts including Gordon Graham have identified these key characteristics for a white paper: White papers come in many different types, with no accepted system for labeling them precisely.

Given this, the majority of white papers fall into one of these three main flavors: Backgrounders describe the technical features and benefits of a product or service 2. Numbered lists provide a light and lively roundup of highlights about some issue 3. For the three main flavors of white papers: Application guide Cheat sheet Installation guide Manual?! White papers and blog posts are usually quite simple to tell apart. White papers are usually PDF downloads of 3, to 5, words.

White papers and brochures are almost complete opposites. Brochures are sales documents intended to create interest and desire. A B2B e-book can be just about any length on just about any topic. In any case, here are some scenarios when an e-book might work better than a white paper: Your audience is prone to distraction They may be young, or on the road. The goal is the same. Today, press releases are available to anyone on the Web, without the need for any gatekeeper.

White paper readers can play a number of different roles in business, such as: Corporate executives decision-makers Finance executives financial recommenders IT managers and staff technical recommenders Line-of-business managers managers User representatives users In-house supporters of the purchase "champions" In larger companies, all these people may sit together on a selection committee that makes a collective decision.

White papers are especially well-read by IT managers. White papers used to be aimed strictly at IT professionals. People tend to read white papers when they: Dream of a way around a pressing problem Wonder if anything could solve their problem Look for something to satisfy their wish-list Research a possible purchase Make up a short list of qualified vendors.

No one reads white papers for fun; they read them for work. This includes companies in sectors like these: Computer peripherals and user interfaces Medical, test, or communication equipment Technical or scientific services Consulting. According to one study, vendors publish white papers for all these reasons: Gather leads for the sales force Educate potential customers Influence a selection committee Educate the sales force or channel partners Educate the media Send to a trade publication or website Redefine a market space Build credibility or mind share Keep up with competitors that have white papers.

A white paper can serve this purpose remarkably well. After making a purchase, the buyer has little need for white papers. What is the purpose of this paper? When will this white paper be used? Early in the sales cycle, your white paper can be more high-level and general.

Later on, your white paper should be more detailed and specific. Who is the audience? What do they want?

There are several costs related to producing a white paper: Research, writing and editing Illustration and design Translation, if applicable Printing, if applicable Promotion. Each of these costs can be outsourced, or handled in-house. Translating and promoting are further costs. And then the promotions begin and run for many weeks or months.

Simply writing a good white paper is not enough. Tucking it away on a website is not enough. To earn an acceptable ROI, a vendor must actively promote a white paper in many ways. The most popular ways to promote a white paper include: Post it to numerous websites Feature it prominently on home pages Send e-mails about it Mention it in e-mail sig lines Tweet about it on Twitter Extract ideas and create blog posts from them Create a press release about it Mention it in newsletters, e-zines and blogs Give it to prospects on sales calls Give it to prospects at trade shows Pay a third-party service to syndicate it In fact, the best way to promote a white paper is to handle it as a mini-product launch.

The more effort you invest in promoting a white paper, the more likely it will succeed. This includes companies in sectors like: Enterprise software Computer hardware and peripherals Medical, test, or communication equipment Technical or scientific services Consulting.

Most writers feel that the first white paper they ever wrote was quite difficult. And many writers who have done fewer than 10 white papers still find it difficult. The more experience a white paper writer has, the faster they tend to work. And freelancers tend to produce faster than in-house or non-professional writers.

And the more white papers you have written, the more you can generally charge. Among other problems, white paper writers often report difficulties with: Time management Lack of clear feedback Changes in direction Getting approvals.

And an inexperienced designer can destroy the readability of an otherwise strong white paper. Successful white paper writers sooner or later devise ways to deal with these issues.

Here are some quick tips: Round up approvals from all stakeholders early on. And of course, you could always get my book, White Papers For Dummies. Create a persona of your ideal client. Expect to spend 40 hours a week either writing or working on your marketing. Use the phone , not e-mail to contact prospects. Show your ideal client what you can do for them—and if you have to, do it for free the first time. Keep a swipe file of examples and use it to inspire you and your clients.

Be passionate about what you do. Then create value for others. This term "white paper" arose early in the 20th century in Great Britain. A few months after this was published, Britain apparently broke every promise in it. Just like today, not all white papers speak the truth?!

White papers were often used in science and medicine during WWII, the s and 60s. The number of white papers is growing exponentially. In , I ran a Google search for the phrase "white papers" that yielded 2. A decade later, in , the same search got The Web is awash in documents called "white papers. Too many are nothing but thinly veiled sales pitches. For this reason, the term "white paper" is becoming devalued.

It may be better to find a more specific name for some audiences, such as: For the near future, white papers will continue to be very popular with marketers and prospects. Over the longer term, many new formats for delivering information are being explored. For the kind of content usually included in a white paper, these new formats include: Others mediums on the horizon, including 3D immersive experiences and virtual trade shows. Need a great white paper? Abstract -- A one-paragraph description of what the paper is about.

Do not state the conclusion here; simply tell the reader what the purpose of the paper is. Customers frequently read only the abstract and conclusion of white papers, so provide material that gives them a good reason to read the details.

The Problem -- Two-to-three paragraphs covering the problem and a little background. Be straightforward and succinct. Avoid obfuscatory language, or what one white paper author calls "hidden assumptions. This and the following section are the meat of the white paper.

How the Product Solves the Problem -- How the application of the product solves the problem. Provide evidence of how the product solves the problem, and why it is the best solution available.

7 Examples of Actual White Papers

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

As a white paper writer, I’m happy to say that white papers have grown up from the boring, highly technical documents they once were. At its core, the modern white paper clearly identifies a business problem and provides the reader with a succinct solution in an engaging easy to read format.

Privacy FAQs

Writing a white paper isn’t easy, but it can be an awesome way to stand out as an expert in your field. Although crafting a white paper is more of an art than a science, there are general guidelines you can follow to help you out along the way. Have a topic people will want to read.

About Our Ads

A white paper is a document which includes an outline of a problem that the project is looking to solve, the solution to that problem as well as a detailed description of their product, its. A white paper is an informative document that talks about the benefits of a technology or a product to the consumer. White paper writing intends to address all the issues faced by consumers in a specific arena.

Cookie Info

Now You're Ready to Format and Write This White Paper. We’ve done a lot of things so far. Some of it even involved a little bit of writing. Mostly, though, we’ve spent our time getting ready to write. Writing a white paper isn’t easy. You’re now staring down an intense and involved project. A white paper is a cross between a magazine article and a corporate brochure. Most clients want to read the educational magazine article part of the white paper to find out the solutions to their problems — but the persuasive brochure part of the white paper does its job too, and convinces the readers to buy the product or use the service.