Guidance on Producing White PapersAmong the how-to articles at BNET.com I've browsed, one that I'd particularly recommend covers the ins and outs of "Producing White Papers."
Credited to BNET's editorial staff, the article defines "business white papers" they "provide information that enables readers to evaluate products, services, or technologies" and then walks you through these guidelines for putting a white paper together:
- Understand user needs.
- Choose the appropriate type of white paper (e.g., technology guide, position paper explaining a trend or technology, guide to the business benefits of a product or service, etc.).
- Set an objective (e.g., educating potential customers, moving toward thought leadership by sharing valuable expertise, etc.).
- Provide reliable information that is relevant to the reader.
- Write at the appropriate technical level.
- Assure professional quality writing by bringing in an editor, if necessary.
- Structure the white paper carefully (e.g., choose an informative title, open with an overview, etc.).
- Make the white paper visually interesting.
- Make it easy to access the white paper.
- Market your white paper. (But don't make your white paper too much in the way of a marketing piece. The paper should clearly be educational, and it should be written in a neutral tone.)