One of the best ways for a freelance writer to earn more money is to take on higher-paying gigs, such as writing white papers.
There is a big difference in earnings potential when you go from writing $20 blog posts to writing white papers that can pay $1,500-$10,000.
Just how do you make that leap? How exactly do you get into writing white papers? Where do you even find white paper writing jobs? And what are some mistakes to avoid along the way?
You will find all the information you need to start writing white papers successfully in the article below.
What Is a White Paper?
Most clients want to read a white paper to find out 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. A white paper is a cross between a magazine article and a corporate brochure, sharing an organization’s often-complicated message in an easy-to-understand, formal, and persuasive manner.
- A white paper is used to promote a product, service, technology, or methodology and to influence current and prospective customers’ or investors’ decisions.
- A white paper is intended to be a persuasive and factual/technical document that provides evidence that a particular offering is a superior method of solving a problem or challenge. Brochures and other marketing materials might be flashy and include obvious sales pitches, but a white paper is meant to be more informative and educational.
- In general, white papers are academic-style documents that are at least 2,500 words in length.
The Basics of a White Paper
A white paper is a type of marketing document that is used to persuade potential customers to learn more about or purchase a particular product, service, technology, or methodology. White papers are typically written before a sale is made, rather than after a purchase has been made, and are designed to be used as a marketing tool rather than as a user manual or other type of technical document.
Many white papers are designed for business-to-business (B2B) marketing purposes. The white paper is used to inform and persuade the other company that a certain offering, such as a product or technology, is superior for solving a particular business problem or addressing a certain challenge.
There are three main types of white papers used in B2B marketing: backgrounders, numbered lists, and problem/solution. Backgrounders explain the technical features of a particular offering, numbered lists highlight tips or points regarding an offering, and problem/solution white papers introduce an improved solution to a common business or technical challenge.
White papers are more persuasive and academic than other marketing materials, such as brochures. Brochures and other materials might be flashy and include obvious sales pitches, but a white paper is intended to provide factual evidence that a particular offering is a superior method of approaching or solving a problem or challenge. In general, white papers are at least 2,500 words in length.
White papers may also be technical documents that provide in-depth information about a new invention or product offering.Freelancer Bangladesh
Examples of White Papers
The following titles are all white papers for Microsoft Azure:
- Azure Onboarding Guide for IT Organizations
- Mesh and hub-and-spoke networks on Azure
- Backup and recovery overview for Azure users
- Backup and recovery overview for users new to Azure
- Cloud Skills and Organization Influence
How Much Can You Make on White Paper Writing Jobs?
The white paper’s ability to both educate and sell makes it one of the most powerful marketing tools, which is why clients are willing to pay $3,000-$10,000 for a 6-14 page white paper writing job. It’s a great way to make money writing!
How to Get White Paper Writing Experience
If you’re experienced in writing articles or marketing materials, you shouldn’t have much trouble picking up the skills necessary for writing white papers. With a little effort and practice, you should be able to learn how to write white papers.
To start writing white papers, begin by reading as much as you can on the topic from a variety of sources, such as books, blog posts, and articles. Familiarize yourself with what a white paper should look like by studying examples (you can find an example here). Many companies post white papers online as a way to build their credibility–download a few and take a look.
Now start writing…
You may read:
Choose a business-to-business company to practice writing white papers on, as this type of business tends to commission more of them. They usually have complicated offerings and need to convince business owners to buy their product or service.
There are many benefits to businesses that come from using freelance writers. One benefit is that businesses can get high-quality content written for them without having to worry about the cost or time of training someone in-house to do it. Additionally, businesses can work with freelancers who have specialist knowledge in the areas that they need content for, meaning that they can get expert-level content without having to pay for someone’s full-time salary. Finally, businesses can get content written on a flexible basis, meaning that they can get as much or as little content as they need without having to commit to a long-term contract.
The best way to sharpen your white paper writing skills is to write as often as you can. Once you feel confident in your abilities, start searching for white paper jobs that pay.
Where to Find White Paper Writing Jobs
- If you want to convince your clients that they need a white paper, start by explaining what they are and how they work. Show them some examples of white papers you’ve created, and emphasize the ways a white paper can benefit their business. With a little education and some persuasive reasoning, you should be able to convince them that a white paper is a valuable tool for their company.
- If you’re looking to hire a freelance writer, look for business owners who are commissioning articles or brochures. A white paper is a type of informational document, usually longer and more comprehensive than a regular article or brochure. White papers are often used to persuade potential customers or clients to see a problem or issue from the writer’s point of view, and to support the writer’s recommendations. Possible topics for a white paper might include an analysis of a new technology or product, or a comparison of different approaches to solving a common problem.
- If it’s your first white paper job, then charge less. You may not earn enough for all the effort you put in, but you’ll get a sample that will help you land lucrative jobs.
Having a few samples in your portfolio can help you land better jobs.
The best way to market your white paper writing services is through your website, cold calling, and other marketing methods. It’s important to target B2B companies that need white papers. Look for companies involved in fields like technology (cloud computing, CRM, content management, IT healthcare), or finance (insurance, banks, re-insurance).
White Paper Writing Mistakes to Avoid
As you take on white paper writing jobs and gain experience, try to avoid making these critical mistakes:
Carol Tice made some mistakes on a white paper writing gig. These included not being clear about what was expected of her and not getting the final approval from the client before she submitted the paper. As a result, she had to do a lot of revision work, which took up more time than she had anticipated.
Can anybody write a white paper?
A white paper is a type of research paper that is usually written by organizations in order to share information about a specific topic. White papers are similar to other types of research papers, but they typically have a more formal tone and are more detailed. White papers are often used to share information about a new product or technology or to explain a new concept.
Organizations that write white papers typically have a lot of experience and expertise in the subject matter. As a result, white papers are usually well-researched and well-written. However, anyone can write a white paper if they have the time and the interest.
If you’re thinking about writing a white paper, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you have a clear understanding of the topic you’re writing about. It’s important to be able to explain the concept in simple terms and to provide enough detail to make your argument convincing. Second, take the time to do your research. White papers are usually based on data and statistics, so it’s important to find reliable sources of information. Finally, make sure your paper is well-organized and clear. A good white paper should be easy to read and understand and should flow logically from one point to the next.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are a few resources that can help you. The website Writing White Papers has a lot of helpful information, including templates and tips for writing your paper. Alternatively, you can hire a professional writer to help you with your white paper.
Why write a white paper?
A white paper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a problem or issue. It is designed to educate readers and show them that the company or person who wrote it is a credible expert in the field. White papers use evidence and data to support their arguments and are often used to promote a particular solution to a problem.
A white paper should not mention, advertise, or endorse a product or service. However, the level of expertise exhibited can have positive indirect effects on the reputation of a company or writer.
Who is the target audience for a white paper?
A white paper is a type of document that contains information about a certain topic. They are written for an audience that is outside of the industry and may not be familiar with the topic. The purpose of a white paper is to provide guidance and credible research so that the reader can make an informed decision about a product or service.
What makes a white paper different from a business proposal or even an industry blog?
The depth of research is the primary difference between a white paper and other texts.
Business proposals differ in two important ways:
- Self-promotion: While business proposals are essentially sales pitches written by members of a company to promote their own services, white papers persuade readers that a company is a trusted expert within the industry. This may indirectly motivate readers to choose their services, but a white paper should not overtly try to gain customers or contracts.
- Audience: While business proposals typically target investors or executives who are already familiar with the ins and outs of the deal, white papers have a broader audience in mind. These documents are designed to educate readers who may not have any prior knowledge on the subject.
Industry blogs and white papers can both be used to persuade an audience of a solution based on expert reasoning and research. However, the research requirements for a blog are significantly lower than for a white paper. An industry blog should be professional, but a white paper should be both professional and academic. For this reason, a blog can be informally written; a white paper must maintain a formal tone.
What is the correct structure for a white paper?
There is no one right way to structure a white paper. However, most white papers generally include the following sections:
- Title page
- Introduction (including “Problem Statement”)
- Background (research-heavy)
- Proposed solution
- References or citations
The solution to the problem of climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels.
The burning of fossil fuels is the leading cause of climate change. To stop climate change, we must stop burning fossil fuels.
What are some other formatting and style considerations for a white paper?
- Length: If you are writing a white paper, be prepared to compose a long document. A white paper can extend beyond 25 pages, depending on your industry. However, it will not usually be this long in the academic context.
If your instructor asks you to write a white paper, they will likely have a specific length in mind. Be prepared to write at least five pages to meet their expectations.
Images are a great way to supplement your writing and add visual interest to your work, but they should never be used as a substitute for written content. On average, one page of written content is 300 words, so if your assignment requires 10 pages, you should write 3,000 words in addition to incorporating any images you have.
- Detail: A white paper is generally more academic in nature than other business documents, meaning its paragraphs are dense and complex. The facts, evidence, and information provided receive thorough explanation and analysis.
- Appearance: If you are writing a white paper, be prepared to include visuals, such as tables, graphs, charts, and images, to clarify and strengthen your main ideas. Some assignments may require you to add these, but even if there are no stated requirements, consider incorporating visuals to convey your point in more than one manner.
Images are used to supplement, not replace, written content. The amount of written content you are asked to produce is not affected by the use of images.
If you need assistance creating tables, images, or other visual figures, our Tables, Images, & Appendices resource can provide guidance.
- Style: Since a white paper’s goal is to show a deep level of knowledge about a field or industry, the tone of the writing needs to be formal and professional. Make sure to edit carefully, as the writing must be authoritative and believable.
What skills do I need to write white papers?
1. Field expertise: Expert knowledge about a certain field is necessary to write convincing and thought-out white papers. You will research the topic and learn new things, but your prior knowledge will determine where you start.
If you’re not experienced with IT or the market, writing a white paper on a related topic might not be the best idea. It could work, but it would take a lot of effort and probably wouldn’t be worth it financially.
2. Well-structured writing style: If you want to write white papers, you need to be a good technical writer. Your goal with a white paper is to convince your readers that you’re an expert on a particular topic. You can do this by making a strong argument and having a well-thought-out structure.
If you want to write a white paper, you need to start with a strong foundation. Make sure the paper is well-written, accurate, and persuasive. Having a background in writing will give you an edge in creating a white paper that will engage your reader and keep them coming back for more.
3. Willingness to dig into a topic: There are a few key differences between writing blog posts and writing white papers. One of the most obvious ones is length – while blog posts are typically shorter, only a couple of pages, white papers are generally much longer, between ten and twenty pages. Another difference is tone and audience – white papers are generally more formal and target a specific, professional audience, while blog posts can be more informal and target a wider audience. Finally, the purpose of each type of writing is different – a blog post is generally meant to inform or entertain, while a white paper is meant to persuade or convince the reader about a specific issue.
You will need patience and mental endurance to write something that long. As a writer, you might find it frustrating and exhausting to work on a single text for a prolonged time, but you need to be willing to dig into a topic as much and for as long as you deem necessary.
4. Academic background: An academic background can provide excellent research, writing, and analytical skills. Many university subjects involve writing long, structured and in-depth papers. If you have a degree, you will have a natural advantage as a white paper writer since you’re used to the process.
An academic background is not necessary to write a white paper, but it can make the process easier.
5. Interviewing skills: If you want to write a strong white paper, you need to be able to interview subject matter experts effectively. This means having strong interviewing skills, whether you’re conducting a virtual interview or an in-person one.
6. Organization and time management: If you want to write a white paper, you need to be organized and have strong time management skills. This includes setting up interviews, writing a draft, researching, and editing.
Writing a white paper: The 3 main steps
1. Do in-depth, objective research: The first step to writing a white paper is research. This is the most important step, as it sets the tone and focus for the rest of the paper. Make sure to get your information from authoritative sources and industry experts to produce a data-focused paper.
A white paper should be objective and unbiased. The goal is to inform your audience about a topic, not share your opinions.
2. Provide facts and examples: A white paper is not only a tool to convince someone of your expertise, but also a source of information. It should be descriptive, concrete, and supported by a multitude of facts.
As someone who has done a lot of research, I can tell you that it’s important to keep your audience in mind. Whenever possible, give them examples to help them understand what you’re talking about. For every paragraph you write, try to look at it from an outsider’s perspective to see if it’s understandable and concise.
3. Present your arguments, but don’t hide their weaknesses: The final step in writing a white paper is to present your readers with your well-reasoned arguments for why your solution is the best option available to them. Be sure to back up your claims with evidence from the information you provided earlier in the paper, and always maintain an honest perspective.
If you can think of any obvious counter-arguments to what you’re writing, don’t exclude them. Address them and show your audience why your arguments still stand strong. The best way to deal with criticism is by tackling it before it arises.
How much should I charge for white paper?
There are a few websites where you can hire someone to write a white paper for a relatively cheap price. However, our research shows that the average cost for a white paper in 2021 is around $4,500. Writers with more experience and professional knowledge often charge between $5,500 and $7,000. From a budgeting perspective, you should expect to spend around $500 per page.
Why is it called white paper?
The term “white paper” originated from government papers that were coded by color to indicate distribution. White was designated for public access. White papers are used in politics and business, as well as in technical fields, to educate readers and help people make decisions.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to becoming a white paper writer, but there are some key things you can do to increase your chances of success. First, become an expert on a topic or industry that you’re passionate about. This will make it easier to write white papers that are both informative and interesting. Second, learn how to effectively market your writing services. This includes creating a strong online presence and developing a strong network of clients. Finally, be prepared to put in the hard work required to produce high-quality white papers. If you can do all of these things, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful white paper writer.