The widespread use of AI in the creative process, especially for content writers, has become one of the primary causes of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. While AI has generated both curiosity and concern in the rapidly evolving content creation industry, some writers fear that these advanced technologies might replace them as their capabilities become more sophisticated and human-like.
However, this guide is aimed at dispelling these fears if you want to become a content writer. Any skilled writer can tell the difference between AI-generated and human-written content, and this guide encourages writers to view AI as an assistant rather than a replacement.
Background: What is Content Writing?
Content writing is creating captivating stories and informative material targeted for different purposes, ranging from blogs to marketing materials and enhancing brand reputation. It is a crucial aspect of shaping a brand's persona and captivating its audience. Content writers create various types of content, such as articles, social media posts, and website copy, each with a specific purpose in communicating the brand's message.
Background: What do Content Writers Do?
Here are some content that content writers do:
1. Blogs and Articles
Content writing is a crucial aspect of any digital marketing strategy. Blog posts involve creating written material that is both engaging and informative for the target audience, and they can cover a wide range of topics depending on the niche or industry.
For example, a technology blog might explore the latest industry insights or review new products, while a lifestyle blog post might share entertaining anecdotes or tips for living a healthier lifestyle.
2. Website Copy
A brand website is often the first point of contact between a business and its potential customers in today's digital age. The website must look great and have engaging and persuasive content.
Skilled content writers must understand the importance of choosing the right language to make a website an engaging user experience.
They carefully consider every aspect of website copy, from the homepage headlines to the product descriptions, to ensure that they are purposefully crafted to captivate visitors, convey brand values, and steer them towards taking desired actions. By creating compelling website content, businesses can effectively communicate their message, build trust with their audience, and ultimately drive more conversions.
3. Social Media Content
Businesses now rely heavily on social media to connect with their target audience and increase brand awareness. This is where content writers come into the picture.
Content writers are responsible for crafting catchy social media captions, engaging tweets, and shareable posts that reflect the brand's personality and resonate with each social platform's unique dynamics. They need to understand the nuances of each social media platform and tailor their content accordingly.
For instance, what works on Instagram may not work on Twitter or LinkedIn. Content writers need to keep this in mind and create content that is appropriate for each platform. They also need to be creative and come up with fresh ideas that will keep the audience engaged and interested in the brand.
4. Video Scripts
Video content has become increasingly popular in recent years, appearing on various platforms like social media, YouTube, and television. As a result, content writers had to expand their skills to include scripting for videos.
Content writers are skilled in planning the spoken word to align seamlessly with the brand's tone and messaging. This process is crucial for creating engaging and effective video content, whether it's for promotional clips, brand storytelling, or other forms of video marketing.
AI’s Uses for Content Writers
The digital age has brought about a significant transformation in the world of content creation. In this era, AI has emerged as a powerful ally for content writers, offering a range of capabilities that go beyond mere automation. With the demands of the industry evolving rapidly, AI has seamlessly integrated into the workflow of content writers, providing them with a wide range of tools to enhance their efficiency and impact. Uses such as:
1. Generating Creative Ideas:
AI is a great source of creative inspiration for content writers. By analyzing large amounts of data, predicting trends, and identifying patterns, AI algorithms can suggest innovative and fresh ideas for writers.
However, this doesn't replace the writer's creativity; it is a collaboration for ideas that resonate with the audience and align with the brand's identity.
2. Optimizing Content for SEO:
AI algorithms have proven to be excellent at understanding the complexities of search engine algorithms. Content writers can take advantage of AI tools to identify relevant keywords, optimize meta tags, and ensure that their content aligns seamlessly with SEO best practices.
This dynamic integration helps to enhance the discoverability of content, driving organic traffic and maximizing its impact in the digital space.
3. Data-Driven Content Insights:
AI data gives it the ability to analyze audience behavior and preferences. Content writers can use this information to personalize their content strategy, producing content that not only grabs attention but also connects with the intended audience.
Data-driven decision-making can be a valuable tool in crafting content that engages and converts.
4. Efficient Content Editing and Proofreading:
As content writers strive for perfection, AI-powered tools come to their aid as indispensable companions. Automated editing and proofreading tools, equipped with natural language processing capabilities, can effortlessly identify grammatical errors, improve sentence structure, and enhance overall readability. This helps ensure that the final content meets high standards and is polished for publication.
Skills You Need to Develop as a Content Writer
Mastering grammar, syntax, and nuanced language is crucial for a content writer as it enables effective communication of ideas for the intended audience. Crafting compelling and engaging written content is not just a skill but an art that captivates the audience from the first sentence to the last.
Strong writing skills go beyond mere eloquence; they act as a conduit for conveying information in an informative and captivating manner. A content writer with polished writing skills communicates ideas clearly and ensures that the audience remains immersed in the narrative, fostering a connection that transcends the digital medium.
A content writer must be equipped with SEO expertise and be skilled in strategically integrating relevant keywords, optimizing meta tags, and creating content that aligns with search engine algorithms. This proficiency is essential in increasing online visibility, driving organic traffic, and enhancing the overall success of content.
By understanding SEO, a content writer can ensure that their work not only captures the attention of their target audience but also ranks favorably in search engine results. In a world where digital presence is equivalent to success, mastering SEO transforms content from simple information to a strategic tool that maximizes reach and impact.
A proficient content writer excels in gathering information from diverse sources and applying a discerning eye to analyze data critically. The ability to sift through a plethora of information and distill key insights is essential. Presenting findings in a coherent and engaging manner not only enhances the overall quality of the content but also establishes a sense of authority and depth.
Thorough research is not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about building trust with the audience. By demonstrating a commitment to accuracy and a nuanced understanding of the subject matter, content writers ensure that their work resonates with credibility, fostering a strong and lasting connection with their readership.
With the rise of AI tools, it is crucial for writers to be familiar with content management systems (CMS), online publishing platforms, and various writing tools. These tech-savvy skills can help them simplify their workflow, ensuring an efficient writing process.
Additionally, being proficient in technology allows writers to make use of digital advancements wisely, improving productivity and keeping up with the constantly evolving digital landscape.
Embracing technology makes content creation more streamlined and enables writers to take full advantage of digital tools, ultimately enhancing the quality and impact of their work in the dynamic world of online content.
The ability to understand the intricacies of sectors such as finance, technology, or healthcare enables content writers to create content that is tailored to the audience's unique needs and interests. Armed with this expertise, content writers can go beyond generic narratives and produce content that resonates with the audience, establishing credibility and authority within the chosen niche.
Industry knowledge becomes the compass that guides writers through the complexities of different sectors, ensuring that the content they create not only informs but also captivates the audience, fostering a deeper connection and reinforcing the brand's position as a trusted source in its respective field.
I want to highlight the skills of a content writer that are difficult for AI tools to replicate. While AI-generated content may resemble human-written content, human judgment decides if the output is accurate or not. The skills and knowledge that set writers apart from AI cannot be disregarded.
Some Tips for Content Writing Efficiently with AI
Here are some tips on how to write content with AI based on my experience as a writer.
Know How to Write with AI
It is important for content writers to have knowledge about various AI tools they can use. These tools can assist writers in every skill they require. Writing with the help of AI can be divided into three categories: content generation, proofreading, and SEO optimization.
Content generation tools such as Writesonic are powered by language models like GPT-4, which are trained using vast amounts of data to generate written content. Proofreading tools like Grammarly, on the other hand, focus on correcting grammar, spelling, and other errors in the output. SEO optimization tools like SurferSEO guide the article draft to achieve a higher 'content score' so that it is more likely to appear in search engine results pages (SERP) when readers search for the targeted keywords.
When it comes to researching, as one of the content writing process, there are free tools available, such as ChatGPT and Google's Bard. These tools function as streamlined search engines and have different features depending on the writer's needs. ChatGPT may have a limited data set, but it is more effective in providing personalized and specific answers, such as "Explain the history of the Civil War to me like I'm five."
On the other hand, Bard sources its data directly from Google and provides more updated answers to questions like "What is the update on the development of nuclear fusion?" However, the way it answers questions is still under development. Both research tools are free to use.
Create an Outline
When it comes to writing content, having a clear idea of what you need to write can speed up the process significantly. To start, it's important to conduct keyword research on your topic. If your goal is to improve your search engine ranking, using keyword tools such as Ahrefs or other free/paid SEO tools can help you identify relevant keywords to target. These tools can also show you how many people are searching for those keywords on search engines.
Next, it's a good idea to look for similar content on other websites. Take note of how they structure their blogs, which often include a heading 1 for the main title, heading 2 for subtitles, and heading 3 for lists within subtitles. Blogs typically start with a brief introduction, followed by sections that provide background information on the topic and define any relevant keywords. For example, for keywords related to "flooring installation" with a search intent of readers wanting to learn how to install flooring, a section titled "What is Flooring Installation?" could be included. The blog should also explain why readers should continue reading, provide a guide or listicle, and offer an expanded definition of the topic.
The next step is to search for frequently asked questions related to the keyword. If you are using Google as your search engine, you can easily find these questions by typing in the keyword and looking for the expandable section in the SERP called "People Also Ask". This will give you an idea of why people are searching for this keyword and what topics you should include in your blog. For instance, if people are searching for tools and materials needed for flooring installation in the "People Also Ask" section, you can add this as a heading 2 (H2) in your blog.
The last task to complete is to create an outline. This involves summarizing the content that should be included and deciding on the appropriate tone to use for that section. Typically, a brand's content should have a friendly and professional tone, but this can vary depending on the brand's established voice.
Use Windows/Mac/Online Notepad for the First Draft
The effect of this tip varies depending on the writer, but when I write content, I usually write it first on a Notepad or any other text editor that doesn't have a grammar checker. As much as possible, you wanted to unload all of your thoughts and ideas of your content into written words, despite the grammar and spelling errors. In my experience, writing content is faster and more streamlined as:
1. Grammar checkers can easily distract you when writing. Looking back and correcting those errors could potentially cause you to lose and train your thoughts and stall your writing process.
2. Writing in a grammar-checker-less text editor compels you to look back at your content, as grammar checkers don't detect most grammatical errors and may sound off when you read your draft out loud.
Once you have reached the end of your first draft, you take a break and look back at the draft again to see if there is room for improvement. Moreover, SEO also factors in word count and specific keywords included in the blog, and you may need SEO optimization tools like SurferSEO to make sure that the content is optimized through their 'content score.'
It's important to note that AI tools are not designed to replace content writers. Generative AI content generation tools always have editing features, and users are encouraged to review the AI's output and make improvements in creating high quality content and making them more human-like. It's important to remember that AI cannot determine if its output is correct; it is simply a result of the dataset it has been trained with, and it produces an output based on the patterns of the answers from the data, given a specific prompt. It's the responsibility of content writers to refine and give the generative AI a human touch, as readers seek guidance from experts in their respective industries.
If you're interested in learning more about branding, you can always check out our blog page for the latest trends related to branding and marketing. Additionally, feel free to contact Evolv and let our team of experts guide you on how we can help your brand reach your audience in the digital marketplace.