The Truth about AI in Content Writing
How I use AI to elevate my content writing
As a content writer, I admit, my heart sank to my stomach when ChatGPT was introduced. For years, AI loomed as an ominous cloud over content and copywriters, promising to replace us. However, each time an AI service was launched, it quickly became apparent that it couldn’t come close to producing the quality of work that a human can.
Then came ChatGPT.
In its short existence, it has transformed the marketing world. I know people whose companies have stopped hiring copywriters and content contractors, opting instead to rely entirely on AI. At first, this makes some sense, as ChatGPT is a pretty amazing tool that can greatly streamline processes, even within creative fields.
But, at the end of the day, it’s just a tool, and it needs a human who understands objectives in order to use it properly. Completely depending upon it to create excellent content will ultimately be a mistake.
In the months since ChatGPT’s introduction, I’ve experienced a range of emotions: denial, disdain, despair. But, once I stopped resisting and started accepting its existence, ChatGPT led me to a new emotion: elation. Rather than replacing me as a content writer, it’s a tool that I can use to elevate my writing allowing me to produce better work than ever before.
So, here’s what I’ve learned about using AI to write content, why (in my admittedly biased opinion) you still need a content writer in spite of AI, and how I use utilize AI in my business.
The biggest lesson: AI is just a tool
While it’s possible that AI may eventually reach a level of sophistication where it can produce content and copy that’s equal to or surpasses that written by humans, we’re not there yet.
Currently, ChatGPT writes decent copy, but it has limitations. It has been caught plagiarizing existing work and fabricating facts and statistics, and its formulaic writing is easily recognized by a discerning eye. What it can do well is article outlining, content rewriting and editing, and identifying missing elements.
I recently took a class about using ChatGPT that explained it perfectly: AI won’t write something from scratch, but when given the proper prompts, it can elevate your writing beyond what you can achieve alone.
This is tremendously exciting for me, as a solo entrepreneur, since I’m often left to make decisions about my work and writing on my own. With ChatGPT, I can create an assistant who provides ideas and suggestions that make my writing, research, and brainstorming far easier.
But AI operates through prompts. If you don’t know how to guide it correctly, your output won’t be at the level you desire. For example, if you ask it to write a blog on the circular economy, it will probably produce a 500-word rehash of existing work. To achieve top-quality content, you must have expert knowledge of content strategy and writing skills. Without these, you won’t be able to use ChatGPT effectively to achieve your content marketing objectives.
Even if you use AI, you need a content writer to guide it in the right direction
Using ChatGPT effectively is similar to assigning a project to a person. Sure, AI can generate content faster, but it still requires guidance like any other task.
When I input a prompt, I provide paragraphs of information such as the target audience, the desired tone, and important points to emphasize. After it generates a response, I continue to provide prompts, helping it to refine its output until it meets my requirements. When I’m satisfied with the output, I use it to craft my writing. The content I produce is still completely mine. ChatGPT simply offered its resources.
My expertise in content marketing allows me to effectively guide ChatGPT in the right direction. However, without my skills, ChatGPT would not produce the same level of quality. It’s a tool that aids my creative process, rather than replacing it.
Competitive content needs to be better than everything else out there
Companies that opt to replace their content writers with AI are making a huge mistake. Competitive content must surpass existing content. ChatGPT lacks the skills to create such work.
Millions of new pieces of content are published every day. Businesses can no longer publish mediocre content in the hope of building traffic. Google’s algorithm prioritizes high-quality content that offers the best user experience. It’s not going to feature blogs and articles that rehash the same information. Your content must add value in order to be competitive.
While AI can be an effective tool, a person must take on the heavy lifting when it comes to tasks such as keyword research, content planning, offering a unique voice and perspective, and providing the information that the target audience seeks. ChatGPT will help you cover all of your bases, but a human is the only one who will do it well.
If you want a content marketing strategy that truly delivers, then you still need content writers, even with ChatGPT.
How I use AI in my content marketing business
Like everyone else, I am only just learning about all of the opportunities of AI. As I get to understand the service better, I’m sure that I will find new and exciting ways to use ChatGPT to augment my work. At the moment, here are some key ways that I use ChatGPT to enhance my writing:
- I provide text to summarize, saving time by quickly identifying the key points of a lengthy study or article.
- I use it to better understand my audience by asking it to create user personas.
- I request headlines and titles that incorporate specific keywords and drive clicks.
- Using a series of prompts, I have it generate outlines, highlight important points, and identify conflicting perspectives to help me create a more cohesive piece.
- I input sections of my article and ask it to make it more concise, check for grammatical errors, and provide light editing.
When I use AI in this way, I never copy its output. Rather, I take its suggestions and apply them in a way that I think is best for the project that I’m working on. In the end, I’m still the one doing all of the writing and important decision-making. ChatGPT exists as an assistant that I can use to bounce ideas off of and find new ways to approach each project.
Do I always use AI?
No, I do not. While I am gradually incorporating AI into my daily business tasks, I only use it for my client work if they are open to it. I understand that AI is new and scary, and some of my clients prefer traditional methods.
Even though I am a recent AI convert, I still value creativity and the human touch, and I worry about the consequences of the ultra-efficiency that AI promises. If my client also prefers a more artisan approach to content work, then I am more than happy to acquiesce.
When I do utilize AI, it’s not meant to replace a person. I take great pride in my work and will always ensure that it reflects my personal touch. AI simply serves as an assistant to help me optimize its potential.
Does AI affect my pricing?
I charge the same whether or not I use AI.
You might be wondering, “If AI assists your work, then wouldn’t you charge less?” I understand the concern, but here’s why I keep my prices the same.
- I charge project pricing because my clients do not pay for my time. They pay for my extensive experience, ongoing education, and the acquisition of new skills, such as utilizing ChatGPT. The time it takes me to complete a project doesn’t factor into my pricing.
- I do not use AI to write for me. Rather, it assists me in conducting more thorough research and aiding my decision-making process. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m researching less or making fewer decisions. It simply means that I have a tool to help me.
- Effectively utilizing ChatGPT is a skill in itself, and as I continue to develop this skill to enhance my writing and content strategy, it will only improve the quality of my services. It will not diminish its pricing.
ChatGPT is a revolutionary tool that is shaking up the industry. It presents both exciting opportunities and some potentially alarming changes. As the world explores its capabilities, we can expect significant transitions across various sectors in the coming years.
One thing that will never change is the quality of work that you can expect from O’Neal Writing. Whether I use AI or traditional methods, I always provide high-quality content that’s tailored to your target audience and generates sales.
Interested in enhancing your digital presence? Let’s chat.