Month: May 2008

Five Reasons Freelancers Make More Money Writing White Papers

Are you looking to drum up some new business? Want to get more dollars from existing clients? Are you a starving writer? White paper expert Michael A. Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them Engaged, provides the following reasons white papers could dramatically increase your writing revenue: 1. Demand exceeds supply: There are not enough writers who know how to write white papers. Businesses are aggressively looking to write more white papers. Master the art and count your dollars. 2. You can charge more for a white paper: White papers help businesses generate leads and close sales-thus they are directly tied to revenue. For many businesses, only one or two sales from a white paper return the investment. 3. Businesses pay top dollar for white papers: Word for word, nothing beats a white paper. A good white paper writer charges between $3,000 and $10,000 for a 10-page white paper. This is the most lucrative writing business out there. 4. White papers can be multi-purposed: A well-written white paper can be converted into a contributed article or be used as content on a website. This adds more value to a white paper project. 5. Many businesses need multiple white papers: If you prove yourself with an excellent white paper, there is a high likelihood your client will want other white papers written. This can...

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Thinking Outside the (Tech Docs) Box: Structured Authoring as Competitive Advantage

By Jake Sorofman, JustSystems From Cost Center to Value Generator There was a time when technical writing was seen as a cost center—a necessary function, but hardly a key lever for competitive advantage. This is quickly changing as globalization and hyper-competition put customers in control and organizations scramble for new and different ways to strengthen relationships. Today’s customers are the beneficiaries of virtually unlimited choice, with growing expectations for cost, quality and service. In an age of globalization and hyper-competition, the only remaining sustainable advantage comes from the customer relationship itself—specifically, the two-way conversation occurring with customers around the world and around the clock. This conversation is how relationships are formed and how they’re strengthened over time. Each and every day, customers and other stakeholders count on product documentation, marketing materials, policies and procedures, aftermarket service and maintenance manuals, and other content to do their jobs and solve their problems. This information must be accurate, consistent and accessible. When it’s not, the promise that binds the customer relationship is broken, putting loyalty at risk. Structured Authoring as Competitive Advantage Many organizations already know that customer relationships are their most valuable asset. What they may not know is that relationships aren’t built on product or cost advantages—they’re built on this two-way conversation. Relationships are strengthened and weakened slowly over time through a series of subtle and often mundane interactions. Taken...

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Podcast: Moving 50,000 Pages of Unstructured Content to DITA

In 2006, Business Objects faced a major challenge. How to migrate over 50,000 pages of unstructured non-topic based documentation it had acquired through rapid growth and acquisitions. The answer was to use the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) to standardize content creation, management, translation and publishing processes company-wide. In this short TechWriterVoices podcast, David Holmes talks about how he and his team at Business Objects migrated 50,000 unstructured pages to...

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