Policy and white papers can be a great way to stand out as an expert in your field. But serious and complex subjects require long-form writing that is clear and persuasive to effectively discuss problems, processes and solutions. So it’s critical to keep readers engaged by organizing content logically, providing useful headlines and call-outs, and guiding the reader from point to point.
Customers respond better to informative write-ups than they do to blatant ads. The trick is to make sure your white paper is organized and well crafted.
This seems obvious, but finding the right topic can be your biggest challenge. First, figure out who your audience is; who are you trying to reach? Then, choose an issue that’s interesting to them—perhaps a common problem they’re faced with, or a case study of successful companies in your industry.
Writing a white paper is not the same as writing a blog. You need to use a business writing style and be fairly descriptive.
Be captivating. You want to catch people right off the bat with your introduction. Pique their interest, and then tell them what they’re going to accomplish by reading your white paper. This means writing a summary of your white paper and including an organized list of topics.
Your white paper is not a billboard for your business—it is an opportunity to build your reputation as an expert and provide insights that will help your readers. In return, they may buy from you later. But first, you need to give them something of value, and you can only do that by filling your white paper with useful tips and information.
Come up with a clear outline first, and then proceed to write your paper. Be sure the flow of your white paper is in line with your goals. Grab their attention, deliver value, and get them to take further action.
Just start writing. Don’t worry about editing until you have completed the draft. You will have no problem going back and making everything flow well afterwards.
You shouldn’t use the body of the white paper to sell your product or service, but you should offer your help naturally by incorporating it in the summary of the paper.