A New Online White Paper Class


If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines and considering adding this highly influential business information medium to your marketing arsenal, here’s your chance.

There’s a new online class designed to teach writers how to plan, build, and enhance white papers.


It’s called White Paper 101 – A Step-by-Step Approach to Creating Highly Engaging White Papers.


Jonathan Kantor, a white paper marketing professional who has spent the last two decades producing exceptional commercial white papers, put the program together.

This three-part course will walk you through each step in the white paper development process, from strategizing and planning your white paper project, to writing and developing your white paper content, and sprucing up your white paper with visual enhancements that attract reader attention and deliver bottom-line messages.

Whether you work for a business or are self-employed, this class will take your white paper marketing skills to the next level.  By attending this class, you will:

  • Discover how to create highly engaging white papers that generates countless numbers of leads for your business.
  • Learn new strategies that clearly differentiate your white paper from the plethora of “me-too” text-only white papers currently in the marketplace.
  • Understand the principals of format and design that attracts reader attention
  • Leverage social media tools to read new readers and build your lead generation database
  • Ask questions of Jonathan Kantor, one of today’s leading white paper experts
  • And much more!


WHEN:  June 15th, 16th, and 17th.  Noon Pacific/2pm Central/3pm Eastern

Each class will be one hour in duration, with 45 minutes of content presentation and 15 minutes for Q&A.

CLICK HERE to find out more.


Here’s a gist of what to expect:

June 15th – Planning Your White Paper (First Session)

  • The Importance of Contracts and Agreements
  • Preparing/Accumulating/Organizing Raw Data
  • Organizing Research Information Sources
  • Finding the Right Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • Effectively using Planning and Preparation Tools
  • Creating Outlines to Streamline the Production Process

June 16th – Building Your White Paper (Second Session)

  • Understanding and designing content for the new “Skim Reader”
  • Developing a 6 page White Paper: Page by Page:
  • Creating ‘Call to Action’ statements that create higher quality leads

June 17th – Enhancing Your White Paper (Third Session)

  • Integrating Visual Elements to Gain Reader Attention
  • Crafting a Highly Effective White Paper Design
  • Repurposing Your White Paper Design for Online Promotion
  • How to Use Graphic Enhancements that Simplify Complex Messages
  • Creating an Effective White Paper Landing Page
  • Using Social Media to Promote Your White Paper
  • And lot’s more!



What’s the cost of this program?

The cost for the three-day class is only $297.

Please Note: This price offer of $297 is good until June 11th at midnight (PDT) or when the first 100 people are registered, whichever comes first.  After that, the price goes up to $397, so act now!




With your confirmed registration, you’ll also receive this additional package of freebies valued at over $497!  Here’s a list of the items carefully selected for your bonus package:

1/2 hour phone consultation with Jonathan to review your completed white paper project (a $200 dollar value alone!)

– eBook: “Crafting White Paper 2.0: Designing Information for Today’s Time and Attention Challenged Business Reader” (167 pages).

– eBook: The Best of the White Paper Pundit Blog: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques. (70 pages)

– eBook: Creating Next Generation White Papers (30 pages)

– eBook: Low Cost White Paper Marketing (16 pages)

– eBook: 3 Way Panel Discussion with Mike Stelzner, Jonathan Kantor, and Gordon Graham (33 pages)


Also, you’ll get:

– Unlimited Access to Video Recordings of the Session Presentations.

– All Presentation Slides

– Written Transcripts of the Sessions



© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2010.


3 Things That Don’t Belong In A White Paper

How is it that as writers we start out with the right subject matter and focus (squarely on our target audience), but somehow (sometimes) end up with content that serves only our egos (a.k.a. off target)?

As a white paper writer, I’ve asked myself that question more times than I care to admit.

Speaking as someone who’d been there and done that, I can truthfully say that a common thread in my less-than desirable outcomes is failure to keep an eye (unwaveringly) on the primary purpose of my content.

In other words, I lost sight of the right answer to the question: Why am I writing this stuff?

White papers are stellar marketing tools used primarily (though not exclusively) in the B2B arena.  Companies that sponsor white papers use them to inform and educate their prospects, while building rapport and credibility.  For these reasons, effective white papers are distinctive marketing publications.

Successful white paper writers know this and apply the necessary discipline to develop persuasive content with superior marketing appeal.  To achieve that goal, it is imperative that the interests of the intended audience drive each project.

In addition to maintaining a clear focus on the target readers, it is important to omit anything that might act as a “turn off” to the audience.  The truth is, there’s no shortage of potential distractions.  This article discusses three distractions that don’t belong in a well-written white paper.

  1. Hyperbole

We recognize it when we see it and know it when we use it.  Hype is exaggeration.  While rhetorical language may sometimes help us make a dramatic point, an unbridled use may undermine the information value of a white paper.

How?  The simple reason is that by definition, hype often stretches the truth and lack full proof.  However, truth and proof are two essentials that enhance the marketing appeal of white papers, particularly white papers that target tech audiences.

So, if hype is a no-no, what helps?  Fortunately, what helps is also simple.  It requires straightforward and factual language that addresses the interests of, and proposes options for the target audience.

The good news is that factual language often is the best way (successful way) to provide useful information, to connect with the reader, and to encourage specific response from her.

2.      Sales Talk

For many (prospective) buyers, a sales pitch conjures up the image of a loud person wielding a high-volume megaphone.  Not a welcoming picture.  It is definitely not the type of image you’d want associated with your marketing effort.

Intrusive sales language has the potential to turn an otherwise informative white paper into a direct mail copy.

If no sales pitch, what helps?  What helps is a more subtle pitch that works from the point of view of the prospective buyer.

One way to create a powerful stealth-style pitch is to include a list (a pseudo- guide) of what to look for in a solution/provider in the white paper.  It is effective because it provides actionable tips that anticipate the needs of a prospect in the buying process.

Without overtly asking for it, the guide has the potential to pull prospects back to your solution when they are ready to buy.  Meanwhile, it reinforces your credibility as a provider.

No megaphone necessary.  Instead, amplify the benefits a prospect might reasonably expect from using your product/service, and make it easy for her to reach the purchase point.

3.      Glitz and Fluff

Viewed in the context of traditional marketing publications (brochure, magazines, etc), white papers are not glamorous.  Slick, colorful, and flashy packaging are typically unnecessary in white paper production.

This is good news.

It means that the cost of producing white papers is concentrated on developing the proven characteristics of effective white papers, namely informative, persuasive, and targeted content.

While glitz looks at exterior packaging, fluff tends to obsess about space – the filling-up of pages.  The downside is that fluff, such as unsubstantiated factoids, does not facilitate the pre-sale affinity-building process.  Fluff does little or nothing to enhance the education value of a white paper.  More importantly, savvy readers/prospects see right through fluff and are not impressed by it.

Leaving out fluff is consistent with creating white papers of desirable length (typically 6-10 pages), with right focus (that respects the time constraint of readers), and tight narrative (appropriate to the profile of the target audience).

No major production required; just good planning and diligent follow-through.


It’s easy for ego and distractions to get in the way of good marketing content.

If your goal is to use informative, credible, and viral white papers as part of your marketing program, leave out distracting hype, overt sales pitch, and unnecessary fluff.  Keep the focus on connecting with the reader, not turning her off.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009-2010.

How to Write Compelling White Papers with Essentials of Winning Business Proposals


When I was a corporate consultant, I participated in the preparation of responses to numerous Requests for Proposals (RFPs).  Anyone who’s gone through that process knows that you can’t take anything for granted – if you are competing to win.  The more intense the competition, the greater the pressure to deliver a winning proposal.

Looking back, I see a clear pattern to the outcomes of my team’s proposal writing efforts.  Without a doubt, all of the projects we won through the RFP process resulted from proposals that satisfactorily answered the questions of interest to the clients.  While anxious to demonstrate our qualifications, we ensured that our primary focus was on the clients’ needs and expectations.  By contrast, we lost projects through the RFP process when we failed to address the clients’ concerns or when we misread their expectations.

Writing a persuasive and effective business white paper is not so different from writing a winning proposal in the RFP process.  In both cases, you are asking prospects to buy your idea, product, or service.  Success in both endeavors involves the ability to deliver on a set of criteria.  In this article, we identify three essentials of successful proposals, which can be used to develop compelling business white papers.

1.  Understand what the client wants.  This requires reading and re-reading the RFP documents.  Even if the project is on a familiar topic and your area of expertise, it is crucial that you “see it” (as it were) from the prospective client’s point of view.  Failure to do so might lead to a misplaced focus in the proposal or misinterpretation of the client’s expectation.  The equivalent of this essential in the arena of white paper writing is a thorough market research of the target market and an in-depth needs assessment of the client.

  • The market research provides the crucial information on the sponsoring company’s intended use of the white paper, including  characteristics of the target market and clear reader profile.
  • The needs assessment provides crucial information of what the sponsoring company hopes to achieve with the marketing strategy.

Both types of information will help you write the white paper specific to the objective.  It allows you to differentiate market drivers and solutions in ways that fit business segments and problems.

2.  Watch the language.  One of the unspoken rules of responding to RFPs is the one  about the right language.  The problem is what is the right language?  Based on my experience, there is no universally right language.  It is safe to say that the prospective client defines the right language.  Factors, such as the client’s subject-matter expertise, the technicality of the project, and the intended use of the final report, help define the language of a proposal.

In the arena of white paper writing, determining the appropriate tone has all of the same considerations.  A persuasive business white paper uses the tone that matches the subject-matter expertise of the target reader, the phase of the complex sales cycle, and the expectations of the ultimate decision-maker.  It is a tall order, but one that can be greatly facilitated by good market research and competitive intelligence.

3.  Credibility counts.  This essential is important because a proposal is only one aspect of the winning game.  The credentials and performance of the project team must match the requirements of the job.  It is ill advised to exaggerate claims or inflate qualifications in proposals.  The same holds true for business white papers.  As lead generation tools, these special reports are essentially door openers in complex sale processes that typically last many months.  The credibility of the sponsoring company is vital from the initiation of the lead to the conclusion of the sale and beyond.  The company must deliver on the claims and promises made in the white paper.


Companies develop white papers because they are powerful tools for generating leads.  Success in achieving the marketing objective is significantly enhanced by adopting a few winning essentials, including an undivided focus on the target reader’s interests, an appropriate tone, and the credibility of the sponsoring company.


© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

White papers are excellent information resource

 On TargetThere can be too much of a good thing.  Like too much information.   If you are like me, your inbox is flooded with promotional material from various sources on a daily basis.  We seem to be  creating an environment of information overload.  As a business owner, I know the value of staying current.  Some marketing publications are excellent sources of useful information, but the bulk just don’t make the cut.  Unfortunately, sorting through the deluge of material is time-consuming. 

Fortunately, there is a type of marketing publication that is worth the time.  It is the white paper.  This short guide shows five ways you can use white papers from reputable vendors to gather pertinent information efficiently.

Read more: Five Ways A Small Business Can Benefit From White Papers

Five Ways A Small Business Can Benefit From White Papers


If you find this report useful, please pass it on to other business owners.



© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.