What skills do I need to be a white paper writer?

white-paper-writer-skills

As a freelance write paper writer you can earn more than business writers, technical writers, and science writers. So, how do you get in?

In general, the following skills are required:

#1 Interviewing skills

This is very important.

Why?

I actually spent more time interviewing people than I do writing.

When I first started out writing white papers, I thought 90% of my time would be writing, the rest interviews, production, admin, and graphic design.

No, most of the time was spent scheduling and running workshops, finding information on networks, clarifying points, Skype calls and so on.

So, the ability to do a really good interview is critical to succeeding in this area.

#2 Subject matter knowledge

The white paper industry is huge.

The good news for you is that this means you can specialize in a specific area instead of trying to know everything.

For example, if you’ve worked as an accountant or book-keeper, then you can look at specializing in writing financial white papers.

See these examples here and here and here. If you left the army, you probably have deep project management skills.

These can be applied here or if you have a degree in, for example, biology.

#3 Strong writing and editing

You need to be a good writer in that you need to write clear, technically accurate, and factually correct information.

Anyone with technical writing skills can usually move into write paper writing quite easily.

But you also need a dash of color to add that sparkle to your documents, otherwise they may be too dry.

#4 Project  and Time management

Writing a white paper is a project in itself.

For example, you’ll be working with the person who authorized or sponsored the document, subject matter experts for input, and possibly graphic designers if the budget allows this.

Saying that, most of the time, I write, design, produce, and publish the document myself.

I use a set of white paper templates to structure the content and populate the sections as I go along.

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PS – Don’t forget to read these White Paper Writing tutorials.

Thousands of templates to jump start your project

Acceptance Test Plan

Contingency Plan

Software Development Templates

Acquisition Plan

Conversion Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Action Plan

Cost Benefit Analysis

Software Testing

API Documentation

Database Design

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Audience Analysis

Datasheet

Statement of Work

Availability Plan

Deployment Plan

System Administration Guide

Bill of Materials

Design Document

System Boundary

Business Case

Disaster Recovery Plan

System Design Document

Business Continuity

Disposition Plan

System Specifications

Business Plan

Documentation Plan

Technical Writing Templates

Business Process

Employee Handbook

Test Plan

Business Requirements

Error Message Guide

Training Plan

Business Rules

Expression of Interest

Transition Plan

Capacity Plan

Fact Sheet

Troubleshooting Guide

Case Study

Feasibility Study

Use Case

Change Management Plan

Functional Requirements

User Guide

Communication Plan

Grant Proposal

Verification and Validation Plan

Concept of Operations

Implementation Plan

White Papers

Concept Proposal

Installation Plan

Work Instructions

Configuration Management Plan

Interface Control Document

Software Development Templates

Acceptance Test Plan

Maintenance Plan

Software Requirements Specification

Acquisition Plan

Market Research

Software Testing

Action Plan

Marketing Plan

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

API Documentation

Needs Statement

Statement of Work

Audience Analysis

Operations Guide

System Administration Guide

Availability Plan

Policy Manual

System Boundary

Bill of Materials

Project Plan

System Design Document

Business Case

Proposal Manager Templates

System Specifications

Business Continuity

Proposal Template

Technical Writing Templates

Business Plan

Quality Assurance Plan

Test Plan

Business Process

Release Notes

Training Plan

Business Requirements

Request for Proposal

Transition Plan

Business Rules

Risk Management Plan

Troubleshooting Guide

Capacity Plan

Scope of Work

Use Case

Case Study

Security Plan

User Guide

Change Management Plan

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Verification and Validation Plan

Communication Plan

Setup Guide

White Papers

Concept of Operations

Social Media Policy

Work Instructions

Concept Proposal

Contingency Plan

 

Configuration Management Plan

Conversion Plan