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Review of: 2005 White Paper Writer Industry Survey

Identifying trends and issues faced by white paper writers...

AND...revealing an exciting new niche and opportunity for freelancers who haven't written white papers before.

Review by: Nick Usborne


Whether you already write white papers, or are a freelance writer looking for a new and fast growing niche, this survey is essential reading.


I’m no expert when it comes to writing white papers, or making money as a freelance writer of white papers. So before I sat down to write this review, I asked the author, Michael A. Stelzner, a few questions.


My first question was about as simple as can be, “Michael, what exactly IS a white paper?”


He answered in two parts:

High-level white paper definition: A white paper is a persuasive document that usually describes problems and how to solve them.


White papers are a cross between magazine articles and brochures.


A white paper takes the objective and educational approach of an article and weaves in corporate messages typically found in brochures.


Detailed white paper definition: A white paper is a technical or business-benefits document that introduces a challenge faced by its reader and makes a strong case why a particular approach to solving the problem is preferred. A white paper usually proposes a solution to a problem but can also introduce a new concept or describe how to perform technical tasks.


Most white papers range from 6 to 12 pages in length, however some can exceed 50 pages. White papers are very heavy on copy and usually very light on graphics. However, diagrams, charts and illustrations commonly occur in most white papers.


White papers are primarily used for generating leads or as a sales closing tool.”

I then asked him if writing white papers was a good niche for freelance writers to explore. His reply was emphatic.

“Yes, there is a huge market out there for white papers. AND yes, it most certainly is something freelancers should be looking into.”

To illustrate his point, he sent me a chart which showed that in 2001 a search for white papers on Google delivered just 1 million results. In 2006 that same search delivered over 272 million results.


I agree. That’s a pretty good indicator that this market is growing fast. And you can be sure that means there are plenty of opportunities for freelancers.


What you get with Michael’s Survey


He surveyed over 500 white paper writers and asked them a series of questions about their experiences. The group he interviewed comprised writers who work in-house for their employers, and also outside freelance writers.


He was looking for trends, work habits and, of course, how much writers earn from writing white paper.


In addition, the survey results tell you a great deal about how white papers are written, formatted and distributed.


You get 42 fact-filled pages, with numerous charts, figures, commentary and analysis.


Why you should get your own copy of this survey


If you are looking for another niche to explore as a freelance writer, one of the first things you should always do is research the market.


Find out who is doing what, see where the opportunities lie and ask other writers about present and future trends.


This report will cut your research time to a fraction of what it might otherwise be.


In fact, most people would find it impossible to get this kind of information through their own research. Do YOU know how to contact over 500 white paper writers?

One thing to keep in mind...while white papers are usually only a few pages long, over fifty percent of the writers surveyed charged between $1,000 and $4,000 per assignment.

In other words, this a market worth exploring.


Your next steps...

Once you have read through this survey, and done some additional research by downloading white papers from the web and studying them in detail - you’ll then be ready to start looking for your first assignments.


Learn more about the 2005 White Paper Writer Industry Survey...



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