White papers are a comprehensive report on any particular issue or topic, which will let the readers to get in-depth understanding and bird’s eye views about subjects of interest. The format and structure of a white paper is totally different than a ‘how to guide’ or a ‘manual’. Rather, white papers are similar to specialized reports on concentrated purpose and interest. One of the key purposes of any white paper is to assist and guide the people for research and analysis purpose on given subject matter.
In most of the cases, white papers are mainly developed for those who are putting their effort on decision making level or involved with analysis, research and development issue. Writing, developing and working with white paper is a common and regular task for B2B (Business to business) marketing purpose as well as government, semi-government, and private organizations. In order to keep advancing on the career ladder which most freelancers set out to tackle, following this white paper writing guide would prove fruitful.
White Paper 101
Writing a white paper is something different than writing or developing other specialized documents. Here, the writer must have a clear understanding and in depth knowledge about the topic. There some common structures, which you must follow to write a white paper. The preceding six steps will let freelance writers know about the basic requirements they must have to write perfect white papers:
a) Know the topic well, before start working on any white paper
Many a white paper failed to meet the required standard as the freelance writer didn’t spend enough time to understand the topic from different aspects which circumvent the niche altogether. It is not enough for you to know only the meaning of the topic, rather you must collect information to getting familiar with the issues, which are relevant with the subject/topic.
b) Identify and get the tone of the targeted audience
Almost every white paper is developed by targeting specific audiences yet it’s also based on the interest and business objective. Moreover, a well-researched white paper may not fulfill its purpose if that paper failed to identify the need and tone of the targeted audience. Any freelancer must know how their targeted audience will respond positively, so that they can start writing the white paper accordingly. For example, when writing about social media trends, it would be helpful to include how a social media strategy can affect your ROI which is nearly mandatory today.
c) Focus on both objective and outline of the white paper
Outline of the white paper is one of the significant issues which you must design and develop according to the objective of the document. The respective freelancer writers also need to ensure a proper sync between the outline and objective of the white paper to come up with a purposeful white paper.
d) Put much of your effort on Landing Page and Title
Much of you effort on developing a white paper may not come at any use, unless you can grab the attention of the targeted audience through the landing page and title. Understanding the topic of the white paper is not enough if you can’t pick a catchy and relevant title for the document. Expert and experienced writer also prefer putting much of their effort on the landing page of the white paper in order to keep the readers continue reading the whole document.
e) Research and Analysis
Research and analysis are two very common issues, and you must proceed through proper research methodology to write an outstanding white paper for your clientele. It is a good practice to use the legitimate and authentic source of information for such research purpose and take help from expert analysts to analyze those information/data in a proper manner.
f) Deal with Layout, Graphics, ROI and other elements
Writing a good white paper require many skills, and you must know how to deal with layout, graphics, and ROI (Request of Interest) within the paper. A good writing skill is must for developing a perfect white paper, but you also need to have some other skills, as well. You should keep in mind that a white paper is not a thesis papers, even though you need to deal with research and analysis for developing a white paper. A good white paper comes with proper and relevant graphical representation of data and make the document interesting to its targeted audience.
A significant number of professional, expert and experience freelance writers are now working on developing white papers for their clients at different freelance platforms. A well-developed portfolio and good recommendation can help the freelance writers to get white paper writing jobs from freelance marketplace. When scripting your white paper, remember that copywriting is not copy my writing by any means – plagiarism is intolerable. Besides of excellent writing skill, you must know the details about how to write white papers by focusing on diversified interests and purposes. Writing white papers is more challenging than other writing tasks, where the writer must know how to work with his/her writing potential in a creative manner.