How to Write an Effective White Paper (According to Gordon Graham)

Cómo escribir un white paper según Gordon Graham

When I wanted to improve my English and started looking for podcasts to do so, I found one that suited my needs:

High-Income Business Writing by Ed Gandia.

In the program No. 3, Ed interviews to Gordon Graham, a world reference on white papers. They analyze the rise of white papers and the publication of his book, White Papers for Dummies.

I marveled at what I heard. Planning, investigating, interviewing and writing to persuade people.

“That’s what I’m going to do,” I said. “I’ll be a white paper writer!.”

And I bought Gordon’s book on Amazon.

All as in pharmacy

If you have read any book in the series for Dummies, you will have noticed that they are all written in the same way. They treat the issues in a basic way but in depth. It sounds contradictory, but it is so.

And this book is no exception.

As you read it, you realize that Gordon wants to teach you how to write white papers.

He answers the questions that any reader would ask. In each one of them, he contributes with the experience of having written 200 white papers.

Gordon Graham’s book is invaluable because:

  • Uses simple, easy-to-understand language
  • Explains the improvised that every writer would have
  • Shares the tools you usually use
  • Includes countless examples
  • Offers tips for promoting the document

Plagues and roles

I highlight two aspects that add value to the book.

One is the description of the “pests” that can “devour a white paper.” Gordon refers to those people who are part of the review group, and who can hinder and even frustrate a project.

The other is the role played by the parties involved. That is, writer, contractor, designer and illustrator. Gordon explains it in detail for each of the stages of the process.

The book is useful for:

  • people who want to write white papers
  • content marketing managers who need to persuade potential customers, and
  • managers who want to change the way to advertise his products and services

Gordon’s degree of detail in his book may confuse the reader at some point. If this is your case, I recommend a complementary reading:

Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep them Engaged by Michael A. Stelzner.

But this is the subject of the next issue.

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About author

Jorge Luis Alonso G. is a freelance writer and blogger based in Argentina. He specializes in writing white papers (English and Spanish) and reuses its content in blog posts and articles to newsletters, magazines or newspapers. Also, he writes content for websites.

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