11 min read
Pros and Cons of Using AI To Write Content [+ 5 Ways To Use It Effectively]
By: Jamie Beebe on Apr 24, 2023 10:00:00 AM
Before you outsource all your content to ChatGPT, consider the pros and cons of using AI to generate digital content.
ChatGPT and other generative AI tools have skyrocketed to popularity in the few months they’ve been available. ChatGPT itself was released in December, and quickly became the fastest-growing consumer app of all time.
Most of us have been using AI for years in the form of tools like Grammarly, GPS maps, visual search tools, and so on.
But the latest AI tools are next level.
Already, people have been using them for everything from writing blogs and emails to creating art and music. Even fortune cookie companies are beginning to use AI to write fortunes!
The idea behind these AI tools—especially writing apps like ChatGPT—is to help people do their jobs better and faster. They have the potential to completely revolutionize the way we think, work, and create.
There are, of course, some real concerns surrounding this fast-growing technology, especially regarding plagiarism, copyright infringement, and the lack of existing regulations around it.
But ultimately, whether the concept of AI excites you or scares you, you can’t simply dismiss these tools as a passing fad—they’re here to stay. A better approach is to understand how they work and learn how to use them in ways that help you work more efficiently.
Case in point: AI can offer support for your digital content creation.
But before you outsource all of your content to ChatGPT, let’s look at the pros and cons of using AI tools as part of your content strategy.
How Do AI Writing Tools Work?
How exactly do generative AI tools create content? To answer this question, I thought I’d give ChatGPT a chance to explain itself. Here’s what it said:
“ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, specifically GPT-3.5, which was released in 2021.
As a language model, ChatGPT is designed to understand and generate human-like language. It has been trained on a massive amount of text data, including books, articles, and websites, allowing it to learn patterns and structures in language and generate responses that are coherent and natural-sounding.”
In short, ChatGPT and other AI writing tools are bots that can engage in conversational dialogue with you. You offer them prompts (ask questions, tell them what to write about, etc), and they spit out a response. (TBH, It’s giving major Max Headroom vibes, for those of you old enough to remember who that is).
Are computers taking over the world? Well, that I can’t answer for you (though my hunch says it’s unlikely). What I can do is point out some pros and cons of using tools like ChatGPT in creating digital content for your business.
Pros of Using AI To Write Content
Efficient and Scalable
Implemented the right way, generative AI apps like ChatGPT can be powerful tools that bring precision, speed, and ease to your work—allowing you to focus on more strategic or creative aspects of your job.
AI writing tools can also help you scale your content production. These tools give you the ability to generate hundreds (or even thousands!) of articles in a matter of hours. This can be especially useful for industries with high demand for content, like e-commerce and entertainment.
Many AI tools, like ChatGPT, are free to use. But if you’re routinely using AI to write content, you’ll want to invest in something more robust.
Even so, this software is generally pretty inexpensive, in most cases costing less than $100/month (with some as low as $9.99/month), depending on which software you choose and the word limit you require.
Banish Writer’s Block
Even if you’re a writer (or have writers on your team), AI tools are great resources for brainstorming, outlining articles, and even creating rough drafts. While you’ll still need to do a fair amount of writing yourself (and a whole lot of editing), it’s a great way to get the creative wheels turning.
After all, staring at the blank page is every writer’s nemesis.
Opportunity for Brands To Stand Out
Ok, I tricked you with this one (sorry). Solely using generative AI to write your content won’t help you stand out…at least, not in a good way. But at some point, NOT using AI in your writing could help you stand out in a sea of AI-written content.
Think about it: If this thing really takes off (which, it seems it already has), the internet will soon be flush with AI-generated writing. In the face of this, unique, high-quality, human-written content will decidedly stand out.
Having a living, breathing human write your content could end up being a major branding asset for your business.
Cons of Using AI To Write Content
If you’ve used ChatGPT at all, you already know that the content it produces isn’t quite up to par with what a human can create. (If you’re a writer who’s tried it, it probably made you cringe.)
And while quality is a pretty subjective metric, we know that poorly written content doesn’t rank well in Google (more on SEO in a bit).
Lack of Creativity and Originality
AI-written content tends to lack the unique voice, perspective, and personality human writers bring to their work. This results in generic, impersonal pieces that often come off as flat, uninspiring, and…well, robotic.
So while AI-generated content may be efficient and cost-effective, it can’t match the warmth, humor, and personal touch of a human writer. And, as we know, the ability to tell a compelling story and convey your unique perspective and personality is critical to marketing your business effectively.
SEO Performance Concerns
Generative AI tools can help you pump out lots of content fast, but sheer numbers won’t be enough to rank well on Google and other search engines.
Google prioritizes high-quality content, regardless of whether it was created by humans or AI. Their algorithm looks for the BEST content, and it knows how to bypass the noise in search of the quality content users are looking for.
Google tries to sniff out content that has more thought and work put into it—the idea being that the site and company are more serious and can provide more value. So original work has a better chance of ranking higher than AI-generated pieces.
In other words, if you want to create content for better engagement, a human writer needs to be involved in the process.
Misses the Mark on E.E.A.T.
Google also looks for content that displays Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (or E.E.A.T). Your content needs to display these principles to rank on Google and generate traffic to your site. If it doesn’t, it just adds to the noise.
AI-written content simply can’t meet the E.E.A.T. standards that Google is looking for.
Potential for Misinformation and Bias
AI tools like ChatGPT are still limited in their abilities and can often produce incorrect information or even biased, discriminatory content. (ChatGPT’s own site warns of this.)
That’s why you should never publish anything directly from an AI source without doing the work to fact-check and edit the content to ensure it’s accurate. It’s also not a bad idea to run it through a plagiarism checker (like Grammarly’s).
Also, keep in mind that it may be more difficult to copyright your content if it’s written by AI. It’s early days yet, so this could (and probably will) change, but as of right now, it’s only possible to trademark AI-generated content in some instances.
5 Tips for Using AI as an Effective Part of Your Content Strategy
1. Understand the Limitations of AI Tools
It's important to understand the limitations of any tool you use. AI is no exception.
For instance, AI writing tools are not designed to do deep research and deliver facts. They’re designed to take the prompts you give them and create a written piece that sounds coherent. This means you’ll need to be diligent about checking the content AI tools generate for you to make sure it’s supported by facts.
AI writing tools also won’t write in your tone of voice. You’ll need to edit the wording to reflect your brand personality and give life to your content.
After all, digital content like blogs, emails, and social media posts are meant to be a source of conversation between you and your audience and a chance for you to show the world who you are. On its own, an AI app can’t do that for you.
2. Think of Generative AI Tools as Writing Assistants (Not Writers)
AI apps like ChatGPT can function as a type of “writer’s assistant” to you—helping you brainstorm ideas, outline articles, and create rough drafts. But they are not a replacement for a human writer or editor.
In Neil Patel’s words, “ChatGPT is an amazing tool. But it is not your content savior.” These tools simply offer a starting point to boost your creativity and efficiency (i.e., a shortcut). They’re not suited for creating an end product that you’ll actually post online.
Using AI doesn’t negate the need for creativity. Instead, these tools can offer an opportunity to re-humanize our work by taking care of the mundane details, giving us more time to focus on the things that make us human (in this case, building relationships with readers).
If you’re looking to outsource your content creation, you’re better off hiring a writer (or a marketing team like Wild Fig that has writers on their staff 😉) than relying on AI.
3. Use Simple, Specific Prompts
When you ask ChatGPT to write something for you, you’ll get the most accurate, relevant responses if you give it clear, simple prompts. Avoid using complex language or convoluted sentence structures, as these can confuse ChatGPT.
Be as specific as possible, and include your target keywords to help the app understand what you’re looking for. If you’re not satisfied with the first response you get, ask ChatGPT to rephrase its answer.
4. Think Creatively About How To Use AI Tools
There are a ton of ways that AI writing tools can come in handy…you just have to come up with creative ways to use them! Here are a few things tools like ChatGPT can help you with:
- Titles or headers for your blogs
- Rough draft or outline of a blog
- Emails and email newsletters
- Automated OOO responders (though we prefer these funny ones our writers came up with!)
- Rewriting your LinkedIn profile or other social media profiles
Again, you’ll need to tweak the results, but AI apps are a great starting point for so many different types of content.
5. Be Transparent About Using AI in Your Content Creation
If you’re going to use AI in your work, it’s important to be transparent with your readers about it. But what does that look like? Here are a few recommendations based on Google’s “Who, How, and Why” guidelines:
- Note who created the content by including a byline and/or background information about the author.
- If automation or AI was involved in the content creation process, explain how it was used.
- Explain why you found AI useful in producing the content.
This kind of transparency helps to build trust with your audience.
Ultimately, AI can’t create the effective, relevant content you need to rank on search engines and connect with your target audience…at least, not on its own. It needs some human help.
If you don’t have a writer on your team and need someone to create engaging content for your website, social media, or email newsletters, Wild Fig can help! Schedule a FREE exploratory call to discuss your needs and learn what Wild Fig can do for you!
Note: ChatGPT was used in the initial brainstorming and outlining phase of writing this blog. All content, unless otherwise cited, was written by the author.
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