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AI-writing tools are developing at such a rate that they are rarely out of the news. Chat-GPT hasn’t even been around for that long but has already fundamentally changed how we create content. In theory you can magic a blog post out of thin air. You just ask your favourite writing tool to create one for you – and seconds later it appears.
Can you use AI to write blogs?
The short answer to this question is yes. And no.
Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should! Giving the instruction to write a blog on a specific topic and publishing the result is possible, but isn’t a good idea. And yet you’re probably still bombarded by companies sending you blogs that have clearly been written entirely by AI. They have a generic tone, don’t ‘speak’ to their audience, and don’t give their readers anything extra. You’re likely to feel like you’re reading an industry report or an essay on a topic a teacher has just assigned.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use AI writing tools when you’re writing your blogs, though.
Knowing how and when to use AI writing tools
It’s a bit like cooking. If you buy a highly processed ready meal and heat it up in a microwave it’s quick, easy, and serves the purpose you need it for. It will provide the calories you need to stay alive. You’ll get exactly the same meal every single time: they’re designed to look and taste exactly the same, whenever and wherever you buy it.
These meals will feed you but they won’t nourish you. You’ll have saved yourself some time and effort but it won’t be good for your health. And you won’t get any sense of satisfaction or achievement from the process or the result. And neither will anyone else.
Create something from fresh, natural ingredients, that will delight your senses and the people you’re serving, however, and it’s a whole different story.
And why wouldn’t you use methods and techniques that will save you time? If you could create the same meal more effectively and efficiently, without compromising the end product, you would. And should.
It’s the same with writing blogs. You don’t want to produce blogs that have more in common with generic microwave meals than inventive, delicious dishes designed to please. But if you’re going to use tools to help you, you have to know what you’re doing. And when they will help rather than hinder.
You might love writing and the creative process, or distrust technology and feel AI-writing tools are unnecessary. However, you can be a purist and still benefit from the help of artificial intelligence when you’re writing your blogs. It’s all in how you do it. No one should judge you for using them – as long as you use them properly.
When AI writing tools are useful for writing blogs
AI can help you in various stages of the blog-writing process. Let’s take a look at where they can be useful:
- They can streamline your writing process
Using a tool like Chat-GPT or one of the many AI writing tools currently available can help you both find ideas and then organise them into a coherent outline for a blog. You can also ask them to expand on a subject or reword something you’ve written. You might need to refine your prompts -the instructions you give them- to get to the results you want.
- They can help with keyword research and search engine optimisation
AI writing tools can do the groundwork with keyword research. They can give you an idea of the keywords you could be using. However, it is a good idea to then check them with a proper keyword tool. There are plenty of free keyword tools available online.
You can ask them for suggestions on how to improve your SEO. They can help you write things like meta descriptions and so on. You may already have an (AI) SEO plugin on your website which will give you pointers too.
- AI writing tools can improve the quality of your blogs
When we talk about AI writing tools, we don’t just mean content generators. Spelling and grammar checkers can also be used to improve your blogs. Again, they shouldn’t be relied upon and it shouldn’t be assumed that they are always right. And they won’t always catch mistakes either! Think of them as advisors – who don’t know everything and won’t always get it right. You should always do your own due diligence.
Think critically, always check anything you’re not sure of, and remember that some rules are made to be broken. Maybe you have a habit of rambling on or using commas instead of full stops because it sounds like one sentence when you speak. These tools can point out where your grammar is suspect, you could shorten sentences, or avoid repetition, for example.
Content generators can give you different avenues to explore that you might not have considered. They can reword sections you can’t quite get right. Or, as Chat-GPT puts it when I asked it to reword the last two sentences: ‘Content generators open up unique paths for exploration that you may not have considered. They have the ability to rephrase sections that you struggle to articulate effectively.’
You might think this is better or worse. It’s probably neither and both. But it’s not quite how I write. I would still go back and edit Chat-GPT’s version to get it sounding how I want it to – and probably end up with something better than my first attempt.
AI writing tools and blog writing - things to remember
Remember the cooking analogy. Not every recipe is equal and the amount of care you put into making a dish also has an impact on the result.
- Don't forget to edit generated content!
Remember these are just tools and the results need to be edited.
- They are not always correct.
- They can ‘hallucinate’ or make things up.
- They can sound generic.
- They can be boring and repetitive.
- They might not add any value.
- They don’t offer your unique perspective on things.
- Remember your target audience
One of the problems with generic writing is that it tends to be repetitive, bland, and boring. Unless your customers are looking for repetitive, bland, and boring, they’re unlikely to be impressed. If you don’t write in a way that appeals to your target audience you risk alienating them. Always remember you’re writing for other people – so make sure you know who you’re writing for.
While you can ask your writing tool to write or rewrite content in different styles, good editing will help you stick to your brand’s tone of voice. Be compelling and authentic.
- Think critically
Question, check, amend.
Need help with your blogs?
The more you know about how and why to write blogs, the quicker and easier you will find it – and the more they will do for your brand and your business. My online blog writing course takes you through everything you need to know to about writing blogs, including AI-writing tools.
And if it’s something you’d rather outsource, I have various levels of support for blog writing.
Get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!