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10 Tips for Writing a Blockchain Whitepaper

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Whitepapers form the backbone of blockchain marketing operations. They offer readers a clear view of what the project is about, where it is headed, and how the team intends to develop the technology.

Writing technical documentation is a clear challenge even for some of the most seasoned writers, but this statement rings doubly true in an industry this new. To assist the industry as it grows, here are 10 tips for writing a trustworthy, memorable whitepaper.

Understand the Technology

When constructing a whitepaper, it is imperative that the writers and editors have a solid grasp on the technologies they are working with. Even if a hands-on understanding is not possible, or they don’t have the in-depth understanding of a developer, they need to know how the various moving parts of the technology work together.

Writers and editors can learn about blockchain technology in greater depth via ebooks, YouTube, and even asking specific questions to project developers.

Minimize Jargon

While whitepapers are normally technical documents, the majority of readers should understand them. Jargon can add clarity if it is used sparingly in the proper context. Overuse of jargon, though, becomes confusing.

For a happy medium, explain the meaning of jargon terms when they are the only relevant option.

Use the Right Terms

Terminology should be accurate and up to date in order to avoid placing a project in a bad spot–regulation or otherwise.

Some projects have begun adopting terms such as tokensale, crowdsale, and ICO. Because the conditions for some of these terms have not been clearly defined, some terms have attracted the attention of regulators who seek to apply securities tests to tokens.

Beyond naming the event, terms such as share, investor, shareholder, and many others have fallen under the same scrutiny. This is often due to similarities between traditional securities terms and modern crypto terminology.

Always be mindful of the words you use and whether or not they could bring unwanted attention to the project. Staying up to date with various blockchain news outlets as well as watching verbiage trends on Twitter can help with determining which terms would be best suited for a project.

Inspire Trust

Crypto lovers fawn after new coins, but they will leave them by the wayside if they do not feel they can trust the team or the project. One of the best ways to establish and maintain the trust of your community is to ensure your content carries a consistent voice. Some facets to take note of are the mood and approachability of your writing, word choice, and spelling preferences–American English vs. UK English, for example.

Being mindful of voice is especially helpful if multiple people are contributing to content and copy.  

Formatting is your friend.

Whitepaper formatting is the difference between a daunting wall of text and an easily-digested technical document. Without proper formatting, only a handful of readers will make it to the end, and even fewer will remember most of what they read.

Because content is technical, it is vital to leave whitespace to give users’ eyes a break and allow them to digest information.

Additionally, include headings for easy skimming. It is best to break up text into paragraphs of three to six lines.

Similarly, inserting images such as infographics can break up text, offer visual rests, and provide additional insight.

Plus, infographics are highly shareable and drive engagement on social media.

Make it look good on mobile.

Many crypto-minded people use mobile to learn in their spare time.

A great whitepaper should be easily accessed  and read without strain on mobile.

Images and ample whitespace assist mobile users in reading and absorbing information just like PC users.

Stay Honest

Because trust is so important in decentralized industries, marketing content must be concise, accurate, and above all else, honest.

Honest marketing content instills trust not only in the project, but strengthens the trust and reputation of the industry as a whole.

Projects which produce dishonest or intentionally incorrect information to gather more funds for themselves not only harm their own reputation, but also instill distrust in the industry.

In order to further this trust, projects should strive to answer any questions their community has regarding the whitepaper, rather than simply directing them back to the whitepaper. If the community has questions about it, they have likely already read the whitepaper at least once.

Keep it Simple (Sometimes)

Despite the technical nature of whitepapers, they need to have a balance of technical and non-technical content. Business plans, smart contract code snippets, and legal frameworks provide the base, but infographics, other images, and explanations of how the technologies can benefit the rest of the population are examples of some ways to insert non-technical content.

Having a balance of content is especially important for projects which intend to raise funds from their community, since not all investors are developers and vice versa. It’s doubly true if a project intends to run a bounty campaign which will involve many non-technical people digesting and sharing information from the whitepaper.

Translate that for me.

Whitepapers are targeted at a huge number of individuals around the world. Translations make valuable content easily consumed by non-English speakers.

Despite the cost of having content translated, many crypto community participants are willing to translate whitepapers through a bounty program for projects that are raising funds, and happily receive payment following the project fundraiser.

Keep it personal.

The tenth and final tip for writing a standout whitepaper is to sprinkle in the personality of the team and their vision for the project. Without adding personality to content, it will just blend into the sea of other whitepapers and projects. Personality and a clear focus on unique selling points sets aside the great projects from the best.

Whitepapers are a challenge, and the blockchain industry is in dire need of seasoned marketers. DREAM provides a direct link between projects and high-quality talent—including freelancers with expertise in writing whitepapers. You can enlist some of the top freelance talent in the world for your project.

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10 Tips for Writing a Blockchain Whitepaper
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