How Much Should You Pay for a White Paper?

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White paperOne of the ways that you can effectively market your business venture is to have a white paper produced. For certain types of business, white papers can be great marketing tools. They offer you the chance to present yourself as an expert.

However, if you want a freelancer to create your white paper on your behalf, you need to be prepared to pay a little bit more. A white paper is more than just another article. It’s not an extra-long blog post, either.

What is a White Paper?

A white paper is meant to be an exploration of a specific issue or problem. It can also provide analytical information on trends and provide predictions. White papers can be used to help support a position, encourage others to make a decision, or to break down an issue in a way that makes you seem like an expert.

Why Do White Papers Cost So Much More?

It’s important to understand that white papers cost more than a “regular” article or blog post for a number of reasons. Here are some of the things to consider about white papers:

  • They are longer: A white paper can be anywhere between three and 14 pages long, although some are even longer. Remember that a single-spaced page in Word holds about 500 words. That means you’re looking at a minimum of 1,500 to 2,000 words, and you will probably end up with a white paper that is in the 5,000 to 10,000 word range if you want to make sure you do a thorough job.
  • They often require research: Not only are white papers longer, but the freelance writer often has to do research as well. This is time-consuming, and it’s important that the freelancer is compensated for this time. Many freelancers build the cost of research into their quotes for white papers.
  • Experience: Writers that produce white papers usually develop particular skills, especially in terms of technical writing. These specialized skills, along with the amount of experience a freelancer has, can result in a higher cost for your white paper.
  • Design requests: If you want your white paper formatted a certain way, you need to be prepared to compensate your freelancer a little extra. This is also true if the freelancer will need to place a number of images, tables, and figures into the white paper.

A white paper is so much more than a glorified blog post, and you need to be prepared for that.

What You Can Expect to Pay for a White Paper

You can expect to pay between $3,000 and $6,000 for a decently-produced white paper (depending on length and other factors). However, it is not uncommon for high end white papers to cost more than $10,000 to produce. It’s also possible to find freelancers willing to produce relatively short white papers for less than $3,000. You will want to make sure you know what you are getting before you get started. It’s better to pay $5,000 and get a great product, than it is to pay $1,500 and get a passable white paper.

Check your budget, and consider the goals of your white paper. If it makes sense to have one produced for your business, make sure your marketing budget can handle the cost.

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