3 Mistakes White Paper Writers Must Not Make

23 Feb, 2011  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

White papers have taken on a new meaning because the Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate. Today, they’re not just used to peddle explanations and information; they’re also used as major marketing tools to entice people to buy what you have to sell. When you’re looking to gain the maximum possible exposure for your white paper and translate readership into sales, you have to first position it correctly and then ensure that it hits the right chord with the audience. While the first task is the responsibility of the marketer/advertiser, the second falls square on the shoulders of the writer. And this is why when it comes to writing a white paper, you must avoid the following mistakes:

  • Not knowing your target audience: You may be a good or even great writer, but if what you’ve written is not understood by the target audience, your efforts are useless. Being a good white paper writer means you have to be an effective communicator, someone who is able to use your writing to convey your message to those who read it. When the intended audience is made up of lay people, the message is lost in translation because the language is either too sophisticated or too technical. So before you begin to write, research the audience that the paper is meant for so that you can tailor the paper to cater to their requirements.
  • Not knowing the product/service you’re writing about: If you’re writing a white paper to explain how to use a product or service, you need to know its every aspect thoroughly. You may be just a writer, but this particular project deserves collaboration and interaction with the designer/engineer who knows all there is to know about the product you’re describing. You’ll also have to understand the product first before you’re able to write about it as an expert. So most of your time must be spent laying the foundation for the task before you actually begin writing your paper.
  • Not updating/changing your style/skills based on feedback: And finally, it’s not enough to churn out paper after paper without bothering to look at the feedback your prior work has generated. When you assess the impact your white paper has had on sales, you’re able to change your style and approach suitably. Also, it’s easier to keep up with the times and understand what makes your audience tick and determine what gets to them. If you don’t bother to update your knowledge and change your writing style to suit the times, you’re not going to make much of an impact as a white paper writer.