This article was originally posted (and is more up to date) at https://robertmarshall.dev/blog/using-ai-to-write-content-introduction-to-ai-copywriting/
With the fairly recent introduction of AI writers into the content space, I was intrigued and a little dubious on how helpful they would be. I have played with small amounts of programmatic SEO in the past, (Allison Seboldt has a great article on programmatic SEO) but never used a computer to write completely unique content. This piece aims to show how AI content writing can be used to help and support writing long form content, without removing the humanity from it. How it can reduce the time taken to complete an article or blog.
My first proper play with AI content writers was when Jasper came onto the scene. I was impressed with how good the AI was. It wasn’t smashing out Shakespeare, but it seemed pretty great for shorter things like product descriptions. However, as much as the Jasper marketing team had done good job hyping it up, the functionality wasn’t quite there.
A few months went by and more start ups appeared building businesses around GTP-3. Copyaim and Rytr were some of the first I came across, and they had a free plan large enough to have a proper click around. It was interesting to see how far things had come in such a short time. Very specific use cases had now been fleshed out into features. Blog Ideas and Outlines, Emails, and Business Pitch ideas were amongst some of the pieces that could now be generated.
It wasn’t until the arrival of ContentBot that I took AI Content writing more seriously. This was the first company that had a UI that made sense, functionality that I needed, and a great automation tool (more on this later). ContentBot is the tool that I now use to plan out, and help write much of my content on my other websites.
For those who are new to AI writing, lets step back and start from the beginning. What is an AI content writer?
The simplest description is that an AI writer is a computer program that can generate text. It uses artificial intelligence to predict text based on the input you type. AI copywriters are able to create marketing copy, landing pages, blog theme ideas, slogans, brand names, copywriting, and even full blog posts.
Companies have began to add more features around the concept of an AI Writer. For example, ContentBot, as well as many other AI writing companies have integrated with third party SEO services such as SemRush to pull in headings suited for your topic. Or working with Grammarly to make sure the AI written content has another layer of checking.
Most AI writers today use the OpenAI’s GPT-3 model. This is the third generation of the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), a neural network machine learning model trained on internet data to generate any type of text. In layman’s terms, it is software that uses a dataset to create sentence by predicting the next best work, whilst (trying to) keeping it in context.
Interestingly, due to the GTP-3 dataset being from 2019 it will not be able to write anything based on current topics. You would have a real struggle writing anything on the 2022 Super Bowl. That said, GTP-4 (the next iteration of the AI model) is due to be released very soon. It will bring a whole new data-set, much more flexibility around human error, and a far more intelligent AI model. No doubt the existing AI writing companies will jump on this, and we will see the industry expand dramatically.
To use an AI writer, you have to provide information or prompts on topic what you want to write about. The more guidance you give it, the better the AI will be at coming up with ideas or writing the first draft of your post.
Using ContentBot as our example tool. Once you have given the AI writer some information, it will generate a list of ideas for you to choose from or it will write the first draft of your post. The wizard in particular is very helpful in walking you through the steps of the content you are trying to write. First fleshing out the title, then outlining each heading, and finally working with you to fill out the paragraphs.
This teamwork approach is far better than the AI writing the whole piece of content without extra direction. Although it is good at stringing words together, context and flow are a vital part of writing. The human element adds this!
There are a few ways an AI writer can help you get your blog post started. The first is by doing some of the planning and research for you. It can come up with ideas and help you organize your thoughts.
Another way is by actually writing the first draft of the post for you. This can be especially helpful if you’re struggling to get started or if you’re short on time. All you need to do is edit and polish the draft before hitting publish.
Finally, an AI writer can help you with the SEO (search engine optimization) of your post. It can help you choose the right keywords and make sure your post is structured in a way that will help it rank well in search engines.
No matter what industry you’re in, chances are you’ve considered using an AI writer to help with your content marketing. While some people may be hesitant to use artificial intelligence for writing, there are many benefits to using an AI writer that can help you get your blog post started.
One of the benefits of using an AI writer is that it can help you save time. If you’re someone who struggles to come up with ideas or doesn’t have a lot of time to write, an AI writer can be a lifesaver. With an AI writer, all you need to do is provide a topic and the AI will come up with ideas and a basic outline for you.
If you’re having trouble getting started on a blog post, one of the best ways to get going is to use an AI writer. AI writers are a great way to flesh out a blog post and help you get your ideas down on paper. There are a few things to keep in mind when using an AI writer, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be churning out blog posts in no time.
After all the benefits, it isn’t to say AI writers don’t have any issues! As mentioned above, if the topic hasn’t already been covered then AI can’t write content for it. This means websites like my one have to be written primarily by a human. A lot of the topics I cover are relatively new issues, such as how to use shortcodes from WordPress in a NextJS website. Disclaimer, I did use ContentBot to help guide the sections for this article, and it pointed me in the direction of some interesting research pieces.
AI copy writers are also not great are understanding context or flow. Sentences will sometimes be the same as the previous with different phrasing. Or the content will start in the right direction, and end up rambling and moving into another topic. This is where the human intervention is needed, to pull it back on track and give new direction.
It is an interesting thought, especially with GTP-4 soon to be implemented. However there is a general feeling that AI will not replace most creative writers. At least not for a very long time.
AI can help with certain writing tasks. Editing, SEO copywriting research, headline testing, product descriptions etc. But AI writers are not likely to be good at rule-bending writing or inspirational writing any time soon. The rules are far too nuanced for current AI copy writers to understand.
What AI writers will do, is removed or reduce the time needed to research and plan out content. And provide a helping hand with developing the simpler pieces of content such a description of a kettle for an Amazon product listing.
AI tools have improved to the point where they can generate useful—though not fantastic—writing. Add in some human editing, and you have a useful (if not outstanding) content marketing asset.
I will be keeping a close eye on the AI content writing industry. There is a lot of development happening, and with the close arrival of GTP-4 it will be interesting to see where we end up.
If you like this article, or have any questions please hit me up at: @robertmars