I write about technology, cybersecurity, and marketing
I recently tried one of those content writing assistants powered by artificial intelligence. And now I am scared.
The content it comes up with is eerily good. It’s really, truly good stuff. Already, AI writing tools can write better than many humans who do content writing for a living. So good that I’m worried about my future as a content writer.
I used to work as an editor in a marketing agency, and quite often, the work I received from human writers was WAY worse than what AI managed to come up with.
So is it just a matter of time before the machines come for my content marketing gig? Yes and no.
There is a lot of bad-quality content out there written by humans. Here are the types of content that AI is already replacing:
Let’s start with badly written content. The kind of content that makes you want to gouge your eyes out with a rusty spoon. If you have ever worked as an editor or content manager, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The quality of submissions you receive from writers is mind-boggling sometimes.
AI can already do better than that.
Here is an example of a passage written by an AI:
“While technology is often seen as an end in itself, it’s important to remember that it’s really just a means to an end. In other words, it’s a tool that can be used to change processes and innovate. This is something that banks need to keep in mind as they implement digital transformation.”
Compare that to this gem written by a human content writer:
“Technology is an enabler to change processes and innovate; it is not an end in itself. Banks need to understand that while the digital transformation they are implementing will give them sophisticated tools, it’s equally important to use the upgraded features effectively to gain the expected benefits.”
There is no contest. The AI-written passage is better in every single way. It’s better written and more engaging.
Guess which article got published?
The same is true for low-quality, flat, and uninspired corporate blog posts. These are the kind of posts that are mostly written for the company rather than the reader. They are self-congratulatory, promotional, filled with jargon, and often pretty boring.
I am talking about low-quality, mass-produced content that’s churned out by content mills and third-party services.
In a world where AI can already write better than many humans, this type of content will be the first to go.
Why? Because it’s so easy to replace. All you need is a basic understanding of the topic, and some keywords, and the AI can do the rest.
For example, let’s say you’re a travel company that wants to write a blog post about the best places to visit in Greece. You could give that task to an AI writing tool, and it would come up with a perfectly adequate piece of content. It would do basic research, come up with a list of places to visit, and write a short description of each one.
The AI would not be able to produce something truly great or original. But it would be good enough for your purposes. And that’s all that matters.
This is the kind of filler content produced en masse to pad out a website or blog.
Again, there is no reason to pay for this type of content when you can have AI do it 99% cheaper. Many companies are already using AI to generate this type of content at scale.
The Washington Post, for example, uses Heliograf, an AI system, to automatically generate stories about local high school sports games.
And Forbes and other financial publications use AI to generate earnings reports for public companies.
These are just two examples, but there are many, many more.
So if you’re a content writer who is churning out cheap filler content, you’re in trouble. Your days are numbered.
Content written with the sole purpose of ranking in search results rather than communicating original ideas.
AI is already writing better SEO-focused content than many humans. AI learns from data and is able to analyze what works and what doesn’t. It can figure out which keywords to use and how to use them in a way that will please both search engines and readers.
AI is so good at SEO that some companies are already using it to generate entire websites.
All you have to do is input a topic and a few keywords, and the AI will generate a complete article for you, complete with pictures and links.
The result is a perfectly adequate article.
So why will AI replace the majority of content writers? It’s simple. AI can write better than most humans.
But don’t despair just yet. There is still a place for human content writers.
To survive in a world where machines do most writing, we need to do things machines can’t. And there are five things that come to mind:
The ability to generate original ideas is the new competitive advantage for content writers. In a world where AI can do research, writing, and SEO better than most humans, the only thing we can do is come up with original ideas.
And that’s not easy.
It requires human creativity and imagination. Something that AI, for all its power, cannot yet replicate.
Look at the writers you admire the most. What do they all have in common? They’re original thinkers. They have something to say that no one else does.
That’s what you need to aspire to if you want to survive in the content writing world of the future.
The days when a content writer could concentrate solely on writing are gone. Writers must become content strategists, thinking beyond a single article or blog post. Content writers who can think like marketers and editors will be in high demand.
You need to understand what you’re trying to achieve with your writing and how it will help reach business goals. And you need to come up with a plan that will get you there.
AI can be a powerful tool for executing content strategy. But coming up with the strategy in the first place is still a human job.
The ability to evoke emotions in readers is what separates great content from average content.
Think about the last time you read something that made you laugh, cry, or feel angry. It was probably written by a human, not a machine.
That’s because AI cannot yet understand or replicate the complex emotions that make us human.
So if you want to be a great content writer, you need to learn how to write with emotion. You need to learn how to make people feel something.
To write with emotion is to connect with readers on a deeper level. It’s about writing from the heart and connecting with readers. Being vulnerable, sharing your own experiences, and writing with empathy are all important aspects of writing with emotion.
Writing with emotion will always be a uniquely human skillset.
Stories are what make us human. They’re how we connect with each other and make sense of the world.
Stories are how we connect with each other and make sense of the world. They’re what make us human.
Telling a great story is an art form. And it’s something that machines have not yet mastered.
So if you want to be a great content writer, learn how to tell a story. Learn how to captivate an audience and take them on a journey.
One of the things that makes us human is our unique perspective on the world. Our own voice.
Your voice is what makes you unique. It’s what makes you different from all the other content writers out there.
If you want to be a great content writer, you need to develop your own voice. You need to find your own perspective on the world and share it with your readers.
That is something that can’t be replicated by a machine.
Some people might see the rise of AI as a bad thing. After all, it’s going to replace a lot of human jobs.
But I see it as an opportunity.
Sure, AI is going to replace a lot of content writers. But it’s also going to open up a whole new world of opportunities for those who are willing to adapt.
Instead of trying to compete with AI, use it to your advantage. Use AI to do the research and writing and focus on generating original ideas, writing with emotion, and telling stories. It’s an opportunity to hone your craft, develop your own voice, and become the best content writer you can be.
Don’t be afraid of the AI apocalypse. Embrace it.
The best writers will always be the ones who are original thinkers, tell great stories, and write with emotion. And if you are willing to do the work to get there, you will be fine.