How I write a White Paper

An Overview of White Paper

White papers are a favorite marketing tool for companies. Companies aim to sell products as solutions to their customers through the white paper. The white papers educate readers and enable them to make decisions in choosing the solution that suits their needs. In this case, the white paper becomes an excellent marketing and SEO tool that advertises the company's products or services. Check this link about when you need to have a white paper.

However, writing a white paper is a challenging task. It involves an in-depth study of the product and its application, gathering information from the subject-matter experts, and studying the design documents. 

The objective is not only to convey information but to spark the reader's interest to engage him in reading the rest. Precision and clarity are the watchwords. Naked facts are not enough to invite a reader's invitation to the rest of the document. It's their context- the writing, the container of the information - that illuminates facts for the reader and gives them significant meaning.

The typical length of a white paper varies from 8 to 12 pages.

How I write a white paper

When embarking on the journey of crafting a white paper, my process begins with a meeting with the product owner/product manager to grasp the project's requirements. Understanding the product features and identifying the target audience is crucial. During this initial discussion, I also inquire about the expected completion date and request a product demo to gain deeper insights.

Following this preliminary conversation, I dive into comprehensive research. After gaining sufficient knowledge, I write the first draft, juxtapose words, and convey information that gives a richer experience to readers.

Occasionally, the first draft may not meet expectations. Every good writer knows that the first draft of any piece of writing rarely resembles the polished, final version. This variance can be attributed to various factors, ranging from missed details to concepts that might not have been fully explored during the initial meeting. To bridge the gap between the draft and the ideal version, I opt for a second round of discussions. During this phase, fresh insights emerge, providing a more nuanced perspective. These intricate details are meticulously woven into the fabric of my second draft. It's during this stage that the document begins to approach perfection, steadily shaping into a refined piece of work. This draft is almost a perfect piece.

Over the years, I have learned that a writer needs tough skin, for no matter how advanced one's experience and career, expert criticism cuts to the quick, and one learns to endure and to perfect. 

Writing is iterative, and a text reaches its full potential through multiple drafts, feedback, revision, and editing.

 Principal components of a white paper

  • A good page layout - A good page layout ensures that language, graphics, and colors combine on a page to promote clear communication. Readers of the page will find it pleasing and easy to read even though they may not be conscious of all the page layout techniques.
  • A title that arouses curiosity - A good title is a hallmark of a successful white paper. It's akin to arriving at an unfamiliar house and having the owner graciously open the door with a warm "Welcome." A good title can make a tremendous difference in the early acceptance of a white paper.
  • Table of Contents - TOC helps readers in two ways: 1. they outline the structure of the document and thus provide insight into the document's organization. 2. they provide the page numbers for all sections and subsections, thus helping readers to locate parts of the document.
  • Background/introduction to the document - The introduction sets the stage. It normally includes the historical background of the product and establishes the scope of the product. In essence, the introduction is a road map; it orients the reader by providing a context for the reading. In short, the introduction prepares the reader for what will follow. 
  • Graphics - Graphics are essential for conveying key information in the white paper. Readers will recall one impactful graphic long after they have forgotten a thousand words of text. Create visuals first, and write text last. 
  • How the product solves the problem
  • System functions
  • Benefits offered by the product
  • Product architecture
  • Evaluation criteria for choosing the product
  • Conclusion

If you need help in writing a white paper, email Check out my portfolio for a sample white paper.