One of the most time-consuming parts of writing a B2B white paper, report, e-book or blog post is conducting background research and finding credible sources to quote. While you may rely on Google for your day-to-day searches, you’ll want to get past the paid advertisements and unsubstantiated claims in this stage of your research.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of places where you can find relevant background information for your white paper.
Here are some internal and external resources that could help you with your research:
- Your internal subject matter experts, whom you might have already interviewed. Click the link if you missed the lesson on how to interview subject matter experts.
- Product brochures or data sheets.
- Corporate presentations. These can be the presentations you post on SlideShare or the ones your sales team uses. Sales teams often have detailed presentations, briefs or product guides that could come in handy.
- Existing posts on your company’s blog. If you find a good post, you can also ask the author for additional information.
- Related case studies. Customer case studies make excellent content for white papers.
- Google Alerts. Set up alerts for the topic you are covering in your white paper. Google features only real news in its alerts, so when you sign up, you won’t receive every blog post that is published about your topic. You can also do a Google News search for your topic if you don’t want to receive alerts via email.
- Google Books. Enter your topic, and Google will provide a list of related books. You can even read or preview many of the books free.
- Google Scholar. This search tool provides you with academic research on your topic. You can view some complete papers free but may need to pay for others. Google Scholar also returns legal documents related to your topic.
- Zanran. This search engine is useful for finding data and statistics. It also returns images of every result, so you can quickly see any related charts and graphs.
The following websites and blogs can provide you with a wealth of research about all things IT.
In addition to the above, trade magazines related to your topic can also provide you with valuable data.
Are there any other resources that I should add to this list? Please mention them in the comments below. If you have any other comments or questions about this lesson, please post them in the comments section or message me directly.
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This post is part of a series that outlines how to write white papers, as well as how to promote them to reach the widest possible audience. If you would like this series emailed to you for easy reference, please sign up for the No More Boring White Papers! e-course.