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How to Find a Writer for Your White Paper

Image for blog post by Bonnie Nicholls on white paper writers

Finding the perfect writer for your white paper may be as simple as assigning someone from your marketing department to do it. Some copywriters are so versatile, they can create long-form copy as easily as they come up with scintillating taglines and punchy Facebook copy. However, your copywriter may not be the best fit for this type of marketing collateral. At this point, you may need to hire a freelancer.

Look for a journalist turned copywriter

When vetting a freelance writer for your white paper, your best bet is to hire someone with a journalism background. A journalist has the skills you need to manage the research, find sources, and conduct effective interviews.

It’s great if you can hire someone who already knows your industry, especially if you’re in a highly technical field, such as software. But many journalists turned copywriters are used to writing about industries they know nothing about.

Use your network and LinkedIn

You can find good writers for your white paper in multiples ways. Here are some options:

  • Ask trusted marketing colleagues to recommend someone.
  • Search for white paper writers on LinkedIn. Try a search such as “freelance writer white papers.” If you want to find a freelance writer in your particular city, add the city name to your search query” freelance writer white papers austin  texas.”
  • Google “freelance writer white papers,” but be prepared for an overload of results.
  • Contact your local chapter of the American Marketing Association and ask if they can recommend someone.
  • Try Contently, which specializes in jouralists who create marketing content.

I do not recommend using UpWork (formerly oDesk), because it’s essentially a content mill. Really good writers do not search for clients that way. If you do decide to use a content mill, here’s fair warning: You get what you pay for.

Review writing samples

Once you find a writer you like, ask for writing samples if the writer doesn’t have an online portfolio. Even if the writer has never written a white paper before, if he or she is familiar with your industry or has written long articles or case studies that are engaging and required research and interviews, then you may have a match.

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Bonnie Nicholls
Bonnie Nicholls is a freelance writer specializing in thought leadership content: case studies, articles, white papers/ebooks and blog posts. She supports industries such as Agile/Scrum, defense and leadership training.