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What Is a White Paper?

What is a white paper, and how can you craft a compelling one? In the past, “white paper” referred to official government reports. Presently, however, it has a different meaning as a marketing tool. Learn more as we answer the question What is a white paper? and share tips to write compelling copy that leads to sales.

What is a White Paper?

As mentioned above, a white paper is a marketing tool. It is employed to reach customers and build trust in you and your company. You can use a white paper to discuss an issue that your target audience wants to hear more about to show that you’re a credible source on that topic. When done correctly, a white paper could persuade your audience to buy something, too.

Make It Interesting

Find out what your target audience would be interested in reading about. You could pose this question on social media or head to Google to see what people are searching in relation to your goods or services. Aim to write a white paper that has useful tips and information that your intended audience will be able to apply to their lives.

Be Personable

Consumers don’t want to talk to a computer. They want to talk to a person. The same idea applies to a white paper. It should sound like it was written by a human, and just for your audience. To do this, you need to write with a conversational tone. However, you don’t want to sound too casual. Watch your word choice, and lean slightly toward a professional tone.

Choose a Memorable Title

To get readers to read your copy, you should start with a compelling title. What could you say that would get people to scan down or click on your link? Choose a title that explains what they’ll learn in the white paper while putting an entertaining spin on things.

Be (Slightly) Persuasive

Your focus should be building your credibility rather than selling your goods or services. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t mention them. It should be subtle. Maybe after explaining the importance of vacuuming your home multiple times every week you could mention your deals for vacuum repairs. Or, after discussing tips for filing your taxes, you could tell readers to contact you to help you file their taxes. Notice that in both examples the rest of the white paper is spent discussing the benefits and value of the topic, which could persuade someone to purchase your goods or use your services.

Use Best Practices for Copywriting

When writing for the web, it’s important to stick to short sentences and short paragraphs. Use bullet points and other tools to make your writing scannable. Proofread your writing before uploading it for your readers, too.

Promote Your White Paper

If no one knows about your posts, it may take time to increase page views. Or, you could promote your writing. Post a link to it on your social media accounts. Send out an email to your subscribers. Let people know about it, and include a call to action to share with their friends or on their social media pages.

So, what is a white paper? A white paper is a tool companies use to build their credibility. Using these tips, you can meet these goals and hopefully increase customers and sales.

P.S. Become a better writer. Find out more here.

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