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7 Ways to Overcome Common White Paper Mistakes

Jonathan Kantor, white paper expert and author of blog White Paper Pundit presented a brilliant webinar yesterday, about common white paper mistakes and how to solve them.  If you missed it, here are the 7 common white paper mistakes:

  • Misuse of the term ‘White Paper’
  • Not understanding the reader
  • A plain vanilla title
  • Terminology assumption
  • Poor or no validation
  • Disjointed content flow
  • Failure to close

The most common mistake that I have come across is the first one.  Reputable companies produce all kinds of documents and stick the label ‘White Paper’ on them.  It is important to know the definition and features of a white paper so that you know how to write one!

Some solutions to the above mistakes include:

  • A consistent format of 5 to 10 pages
  • Finding the right subject matter expert (SME)
  • Telling the reader – in the title – what they will gain
  • Using examples and analogies to explain technical jargon
  • Using statistics not more than 3 years old
  • Leading the reader down a logical path of information
  • Including key ‘take away’ messages in the conclusion

If you want to learn more about how to write white papers, or just want to refresh your white paper writing skills, Jonathan Kantor will be hosting a three-day on-line course entitled, White Paper 101: A step by step approach to creating highly engaging white papers.  Be sure to register as soon as you can!  You can go here for more information.

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