Write That Killer Whitepaper and Generate Leads Now

For older people, the term whitepaper may conjure images of government-issued documents that nobody wants to read. In business and marketing it is a long-form sponsored content that gives useful authoritative information and solutions about a particular issue or problem. These definitions alone give whitepapers a really bad reputation. Let’s face it, they can get quite boring. Even Wikipedia’s definition of it will make you want to nap. It can be forced upon us especially when we have to “get it from the experts” or someone ordered us to read it. And in today’s lead-capturing world, whitepapers can be misused.

So why are they still being used? Some companies believe in the power of whitepapers but don’t know how to write it. This is sad because if done correctly and used properly, whitepapers can be one of the most useful and powerful tools for sales and marketing.

These are reasons enough for you to start creating some seriously mind-blowing whitepapers. Take these writers’ tips in the hopes that you can create that killer whitepaper, too.

  1. People should want to read about your topic

Your biggest hurdle could be finding the right topic for your target audience. If you’re reaching the wrong people, then your information and solution will be useless. Know your audience, what they want to know about their problem and how your paper can be more informative and reliable than what’s already out in the net. One way is to find what “hot” topics have the most comments in social media sites. And if you know you’re an expert in one of these, then start writing.

  1. Make a good outline and draft

In all great writing, there should be an outline and a draft before the actual writing happens. Your paper should accomplish whatever goals you had before starting. This can be done by making an organized list of your topics. So give it some great research and thought.

  1. Grab their attention with your introduction

Make sure you get your audience’s attention starting with your introduction. Give them some insight as to what they can get from your whitepaper without giving all the solutions right away but at the same time, compel them to keep on reading. Right from the start, you should have hooked your audience with a great intro that’s captivating and engaging. An engaged reader has just given you his trust that you “feel his pain” and will feed his need. Don’t waste that opportunity.

  1. Set the right tone

Unfortunately, people confuse whitepapers with blogs and eBooks. While both are highly descriptive, you need to use a more business-like manner when writing whitepapers. Use a professional tone. You are coming off as the authority here so don’t make it sound friendly and conversational. People will expect to gain a significant amount of knowledge and information from you so don’t try to entertain them. Be very specific and use simple language at the same time avoid jargon and acronyms. It shouldn’t be too technical and salesy either. It should be written like an academician would write it and not a blogger.

  1. Be clear of what you can give

Your whitepaper is not a sales pitch. It is to inform and give solutions with hard evidence. Do not try to persuade people why they should buy your product now. Whitepapers should give something valuable to the readers with useful tips, problem-solving guides and direct-to-the-point solutions.. If there are no credible facts to back up your data, readers will be skeptical about your expertise. Best solution is to cite sources with plenty of footnotes.

  1. Give it a good edit and proofread

Write your lingering thoughts and do not get distracted by others stuff. Just compose your draft and complete it. Once you’ve edited and given it a good proofreading, ask other people to read it and let them pinpoint common errors in grammar and punctuation.

  1. Don’t ignore design

What makes eBooks attractive are the eye-catching designs and images in it. Whitepapers don’t need be as flashy as eBooks but then again, don’t ignore some helpful visual elements like graphs and tables. Make sure they are done professionally to give your whitepaper that polished look that’s easy on the eyes of the reader.

  1. Promote like there’s no tomorrow

Without the proper promotion of your whitepaper, it will not achieve its goals even if the content is great and the writing is impeccable. After posting it on your website, do some more promoting. Mention it on your blog, on social media sites and related newsletters. And if you have some clout with industry leaders like bloggers and journalists, try to get them to share it.  Lastly, publish a press release to get more mileage.

Conclusion

Whitepapers are like authority badges. You flash them and people will listen to you like a god. You write them, and readers will trust you and believe in what you have to say. Hopefully, these writers’ tips have helped you. If written properly, your readers will have a genuine interest and you won’t have to focus on selling your product. Your whitepaper will do all the convincing for you.

Ego vs. Creativity: What Matters Most for Good Content Writing?

Dictionary.com defines ego as, “self-esteem, self-image, feelings.” The same site defines creativity as, “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.” The question is, not whether one is more important than the other, it is how to get them to work harmoniously.

The ego is that which propels people forward. It gives them purpose and the will the fight for what they believe should be theirs. Ego compels people to exclaim, “Hey I can do that,” or “I can do that even better than the others.

Ego is synonymous with pride. It is how you feel when you know you did a good job, especially when others take notice. However, it is also synonymous with arrogance. This means that you have so much pride that it has become a negative thing. Others feel put down by how much you think of yourself.

For writers, pride is the feeling when you submit your work for an editor or reader to evaluate. You know you worked hard and put every effort into choosing each word. It turns to arrogance when you start to say and ultimately believe that no one can write as good as you.

Creativity is a writer’s ability to choose the right words to use and put them in the right order to tell a story or convey a message so that it is different from every other story and message. Creativity is synonymous with artistry and genius. Genius is the choosing of the words and artistry is how they are put together.

Ego and Creativity: How do you put pride, artistry, and genius together? 

Be confident enough to know that you can accomplish the task at hand. You can write a good story, create an interesting campaign, or write a blog post worthy of reading. That is ego pushing you forward. Then let creativity take over so that you can create your work of art. Whether or not it is a masterpiece, remains to be seen, but you can strive to make it so.

If it does become a masterpiece, or even if it does not, you can be proud of your work. Just do not go off the deep end and tell the world that you are the next great artist. That will cause others to find fault with your work and knock you down to size. Then your ego will be bruised and you will need to figure out how to brush off the pain and continue on to your next piece.

In order to do good work, you need to know that it is good; you just cannot let others know that you know it. When people get wind that you know you work well, it seems as if the world works to knock you down. There needs to be a balance. You should be aware that you write well, but are not above having an editor make suggestions. Heck, even James Patterson and Stephen King have editors.

Another way to keep ego and creativity working well together is to not take on too many projects. If your ego tells you that you can get it all done and then you feel overwhelmed, you will not be as creative. Your workmanship will suffer because you do not have enough time for the process to come to its rightful conclusion.

Therefore, you will either create shoddy work or not get anything completed. Either way, your ego will take a hit and you will feel like a failure. You will then have to build your self-esteem back up so that you can write with creativity again.

In order to be a successful writer, you must know what you are capable of and know your limitations. You must be able to put your writing into perspective and be able to take criticism. You also need to be able to use these tools to be able to plug into your artistic side. Only by creating the right balance will you succeed. As with anything else, the only way there is to practice until you get it right and even then, do not stop.

Is Content Taken Over by AI? Where Does This Leave Us?

As content writers, our most important responsibility in a content marketing industry is content creation. Content creation is defined as ‘the contribution of information to any media, especially digital media, for an audience in specific contexts. While content marketing is a resilient industry, the strategies that are used are usually affected by the change in technology. One such technology that may affect content writers is Artificial Intelligence or AI.

Over the past several decades, lots of organizations have made use of robots and other machines because they perform more efficiently than humans. AI was typically used in industries such as medicine, aerospace, software engineering, as well as manufacturing. No one had thought that there would be any such thing as a ‘robo-writer’. However, now it has become a reality, there are AI algorithms out there that can write stories as well as articles.

Is AI Entering the Content Marketing Field?

AI has established itself in the journalism sector, and many media outlets are using robo-writing to create content quickly. For example, the algorithm ‘Quakebot’ is used by the Los Angeles times to evaluate geological data and then create a report on earthquakes. Forbes magazine uses the Quill platform of Narrative Science to create financial reports at the end of each quarter.

What’s more, according to studies conducted by Karlstad University in Sweden, people fail to differentiate between the news content generated by AI and the ones written by journalists. This is because, with the help of AI methodologies and natural language processing, these algorithms are able to mimic the way a human mind thinks while writing.

These AI algorithms are considered to be very cost-effective for the companies since they can generate accurate reports in little to no time. Many organizations may begin to use them to create content for marketing. However, one key thing to remember is that being a journalist is not the same thing as being a content writer. There is a stark difference between brand storytelling and reporting the world events. Hone your storytelling ability and keep working on your skills – just an important writer’s tip that you should bear in mind.

Important Writers’ Tips to Keep in Mind

With AI taking over the copywriting industry, it is understandable why you may be worried about your job as a content writer. Here are a few writers’ tips to lend you a helping hand in these situations.

  • AI does not have feelings.

The content that is the most efficient for grabbing the attention of the audience is the one that evokes feelings in them. The AI algorithms do not know or understand feelings, but we as content writers do. One of the ways in which you can forge a connection with your audience is by using personal stories. When you share your personal experiences, you are creating content that the audience can relate to. By sharing your personal anecdotes, you are empathizing with your audience, which in turn deepens your connection.

  • AI does not have imagination.

AI can only create a report based on the information that is available to them. They are able to create reports so quickly because they are only rehashing the information and ideas. Since they lack imagination and creativity, they are not capable of making any interesting connections. On the other hand, we as content writers are inherently curious – always trying to learn something new about the world. It is our imagination and creativity that helps us generate new ideas and content.

  • AI can only integrate information.

One of the other tools in the content writer’s arsenal is the stories of past customers. To make this story come alive, you will need critical thinking skills as well as feel a personal connection with the client. AI cannot make any personal connections with the customers because they do not have any feelings. They only now how to assimilate all the information they have access to, nothing more.

Even if AI enters the content marketing industry, the onus of generating new ideas and creating content that evokes emotion lies solely on content writers. Take full advantage of these writers’ tips and create better content than AI algorithms.

The 2017 Content Writer: a Profile

Are you contemplating the idea of abandoning your tedious 9-to-5 working schedule in favor of a more flexible and rewarding  job opportunity enabling you to put your above-average writing skills to good use?

If so, you should know that this new career path could help you unlock a wide range of benefits linked to a freelancer’s lifestyle, including the ability to make your own schedule, become your own boss, get involved in projects that actually resonate with your passions and interests, and work from any environment with Internet access.

You may be wondering: if freelance writing is such a positive life-changing experience, why aren’t all people willing to give it a try? Surprisingly, this has very little to do with their aptitudes and skills.

What You Need to Know about Freelance Writing

Believe it or not, freelancing in this area is a small business opportunity that requires more than a little bit of talent and love for writing. In order to survive in this already highly competitive industry in 2017, you will need to count on a plan meant to protect your resources, solid strategies designed to attract more clients and get the highest-paid gigs, and an ardent desire for self-improvement. If you need a little bit of guidance while working 24/7 to build your own freelance writing empire, here are a few expert writers tips that will point you in the right direction, allowing you to avoid losses throughout your journey.

What You Need to Learn as a Novice in This Industry

Freelance writing isn’t a career path that requires any impressive credentials. While the credentials earned in a university may help you broaden your horizons and support your creative thinking, they won’t always help you build or maintain a solid connection with deep-pocketed clients, or lift your website and blog off the ground. These two goals, as well as any other objectives you may set up as a freelance writer, depend a great deal on three less conventional credentials that you must work on:

  • Curiosity– The need to explore, make predictions, and present current events from different perspectives can help writers make a name for themselves on any niche
  • Self-Confidence– Courage and self-confidence are two invaluable weapons that all writers should count on to be able to face rejection with grace every now and then, and keep improving their work and marketing tactics to lure more high-profile clients even on the most overcrowded markets
  • Perseverance and Perfectionism– Some of the most successful writers are the ones that are constantly expanding their knowledge database and refining their skill set to reach a broader audience, boost their authority, and attract a more diverse clientele.

Before actually getting started, those who are willing to give freelance writing a try should learn how to:

  • Implement a good money management plan and set up a financial system enabling them to take care of invoicing, tax filling, and other to-dos related to their new source of income
  • Cultivate their self-discipline to stay organized
  • Create and upgrade a workflow and a deadline system based on whiteboards, wall charts, diaries or online reminder solutions, to prioritize assignments and make sure all deadlines are being met
  • Create a dedicated, productivity-oriented writing space
  • Maintain a flawless communication with partners (web designers, photographers, and so on) and clients
  • Expand their areas of knowledge and skill set by becoming familiar with different aspects that could support their content creation efforts and help them bring in more clients, such as social media management, search engine optimization, and web design

How to Survive on the Market

As a newcomer, you have to struggle to make yourself known for your writing skills on a market where some of the most reputable, well-established competitors have what it takes to steal the highest-paid gigs right before your eyes. Fortunately, in some of the fastest growing freelancing sectors, including writing and social media marketing, the small fish manage to eat the big fish by offering more flexible, customizable service packages carrying smaller price tags. If your number one goal for 2017 is to survive on the freelance writing market, here are some steps that you should take to accomplish your mission.

  • Join as Many Freelance Platforms as Possible. These days, you could count on a wide array of websites and boards especially designed for freelancers. Platforms like Upwork make it easier for you to find and get involved in projects matching your interest, skills and financial expectations, so join as many freelance job sites for writers as possible to stay busy and keep those paychecks rolling in.
  • Stay Active on Social Media. Freelancers always turn to social media to find new clients and land new gigs. Whether you choose to showcase your remarkable creativity on Instagram, position yourself as an industry expert on Twitter, or looking for potential customers and partnership opportunities on Facebook, keep in mind that all social networking websites are gold mines for freelancers who are looking forward to supplementing their monthly income.
  • Use Your Contact List Wisely. Don’t hesitate to market your services within your social circle; at some point, your aunt Mary who runs a clothing store may require some professional SEO optimization to get her website on the first page in Google, or your nephew Mark may need help with his content marketing strategy to take his startup to the next level; profit from all these opportunities to pay your bills and expand your portfolio.
  • Always Stay Busy. Long periods of inactivity may affect your creative thinking and communication skills, and make you slip into a pool of apathy and self-indulgence. To avoid this pitfall, try to stay busy even when it’s quiet. Whether we’re talking about taking a SEO or content marketing course, polishing your resume and portfolio, or organizing client meetings in your pajamas, in front of your computer, all these basic actions will help you stay relevant and competitive in your line of work.

How to Bring in New Clients

When it comes to expanding your client database, there are several tried-and-true strategies that you could employ to reach your goal. Here are a few of our most effective writers’ tips that may work for you:

  • Team up with other freelancers to get involved in lengthier, more complex, better paid projects
  • Personalize your emails and cold calls by targeting a specific person in the company who may benefit from your services
  • Attend industry events to share your expertise with likeminded people who may require your assistance in the future
  • Stay in contact with past clients who have appreciated your work at its real value; sometimes, you could get to work with an old client again and land the job of your dreams simply due to the fact that you’ve popped on their radar in the right moment.
  • Consider doing pro bono work; volunteering may help you establish new relationships with big companies that may be willing to pay the right price for your quality services in the near future.

Survive and Thrive on an Overcrowded Market by Keeping Yourself Busy

In 2017, in order to penetrate a crowded market, make money and gain appreciation and respect in the freelance writing sector, you have to stay busy, and use every single trick in the book to build and promote your own brand.

Create a website and a blog. Learn the basics of Google-friendly optimization tactics. Join all the freelance writing platforms where you could find well-paid jobs and collaborations that may trigger your enthusiasm. Take a couple of hours each day to read the latest industry news, and stay up-to-date with new trends and job opportunities. At the end of the day, all these steps will help you become a more seasoned writer, and acquire the skills and knowledge required to leave your competition in the dust.