Should I Use AI Writing for My Content?

As a content creator, I get asked A LOT how I feel about AI writing and how it’s impacted what I do. Here’s the short version: It’s a great tool in the right hands. It is not—at all—the end-all-be-all of content creation. It absolutely needs a human (ideally a writer) to proofread and edit it before it’s posted or shared anywhere.

You might be thinking…

“But it saves me so much time!”
“It’s so much cheaper to use than a content writer!”
“It can’t be that bad if everyone is using it!”
“Will anyone even know if I use it without editing?”

To those things I would say…

“Good things take time.”
“You will reap what you sow.”
“Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t make it right.”

And finally…

“YES. THEY WILL KNOW.”

Trust me. People will know. Google will know. Your competitors and your customers and your potential customers… they will know. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but if your website gets penalized for AI writing or someone comes across a sentence that sounds like a robot wrote it… they’ll know.

And while some people may appreciate your wise use of your time and resources, most people will just view you as cheap or lazy.

Don’t shoot the messenger here, folks.

Here’s the bottom line. AI writing can be used to reduce costs and time demands while expanding your production capabilities. AI-generated content can be an asset in a content creation strategy. But as with most things, moderation is key. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t stick a two-sentence prompt in to create a blog, and just slap it on your website. Please don’t do it. Caution should absolutely be applied while using AI, and learning how to use it effectively and properly is vital.

That being said, AI definitely has some benefits and incredible uses. Because I’m not living under a rock and I know that people are using AI, let’s dive in a little more. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using AI-generated material in your content creation and explore how you can use it wisely.

Pros of Using AI-generated Content

Reduce Demands on Your Time and Budget

Possibly the most obvious pro of using AI-generated content in content creation is that its use can alleviate the time burden on you and your team, ultimately reducing costs. AI can significantly streamline the time spent in background research and physical writing. Use AI strategically as your front-end researcher and focus your time on other efforts.

Repurpose Elements for Social Media

Another element of time savings is found in the reproduction process. AI can be used to repurpose and reproduce content into different formats and for different uses; it can breathe new life into your work when you may be at the end of your metaphorical rope. Sophisticated AI tools allow you to write with different audiences and platforms in mind. Utilize simple AI prompts to leverage your content and get the most distance out of it or to summarize entire pieces to create shorter social posts.

Use AI as Your Marketing Manager

In addition to social media elements, AI can be used as a marketing manager, developing the necessary content for all elements of a marketing campaign, including social media, email marketing, and copy for physical assets.

Use AI for its SEO “Expertise”

For less-experienced content creators, AI-based tools can cultivate the content structure and enhance the search engine optimization needed to help your content thrive. Because it’s pulling from a myriad of knowledge from the internet, AI will already be using the ingredients and the structure necessary for a new piece of content to perform well.

Break Through Brain Fog

Simply put, AI prompts can be a form of brainstorming. Writer’s block is real, and writing can be a chore, especially for content producers whose full-time job is to produce content on demand or for those not accustomed to cranking out content on the regular. When you’re stuck, AI writing offers new perspectives, vocabulary, and approaches to your work.

Create Structure for Your Writing

When used wisely, AI can help create an outline or structure for your writing. You can enlist AI writing tools to create an outline for your writing and then let the content flow. This is a great starting point for any writing, and if you’re really stuck or not sure where to begin, utilizing a pre-made outline can definitely help get the ball rolling.

Reduce the Headache of Large Technical Writing Jobs

AI can condense and streamline large amounts of technical writing into things like manuals and legal documents. Reduce the pressure on team members with technical expertise by using AI to create the initial elements and then use the expertise of the team to finesse and refine the final technical document.

Speak Many Languages

Along with knowing the technical language of many industries, AI speaks many actual languages. For global corporations or companies preparing to break into new markets, AI can be trained to create content in many languages. Use AI’s translation superpowers here to reduce your costs. If a translator is needed, utilize their services for editing and refining the AI-produced content.

Cons of Using AI-Generated Content

It’s Not Omniscient

AI-generated content utilizes existing data and information in its aggregation patterns. This means that it may not have access to YOUR data and research, especially if it’s unpublished. AI tools will be sourcing information from a variety of locations, and in some cases, may produce incorrect or outdated data. It also won’t know certain lingo or approaches to the topic that you wish to convey.

It’s Not Original

AI is not a substitute for the brainstorming that happens among a well-trained team. While AI-generated information can be used as a tool in brainstorming (as noted above), it cannot be a substitute for the strategic and critical thinking of a team whose job is to solve problems and imagine new approaches to the work you’re doing.

It May Be Sourcing Outdated or Incorrect Data

Please beware of content created by these sources, and don’t trust them without discretion. Inaccuracies and outdated content may lead your readers to the wrong information and, as mentioned before, may reduce or complicate the trust of your audience. Everything should be fact-checked thoroughly, and experts should sift through the information to ensure accuracy.

It Has Limitations on Writing Style

AI functions as a synthesis tool, aggregating existing content into new structures. Synthesizing information is a much different writing approach than what most content creation requires – the creative magic of establishing new ideas and patterns and prompting action in a reader. Without significant augmentation, AI may not have the industry-specific language that you need and may not effectively convey your work. It also will not be in line with your brand’s tone and voice, leading readers to see a disconnect across your brand and, therefore, questioning your legitimacy.

It Diminishes Credibility

Used improperly, AI writing can reduce the credibility of a content creator or a business. As AI-produced content becomes more and more widely available, readers will be able to pick up repetitive formats and reproductions. This can reduce the credibility of content and possibly deteriorate the trust of your targeted group. Beware of relying too heavily on AI-generated content if you want to protect the relationship between yourself and your clients.

It Is Unsophisticated 

AI-generated content is continually improving, but you may find that without significant alterations, delivery is unsophisticated. The writing done by AI will likely be grammatically correct, but it also could be grammatically repetitive. Much of AI writing relies on a subject-verb-object sentence structure reminiscent of elementary language arts class. Errors are few, but sentence structure is generally consistent and thus reduces the pleasure of reading content.

It Is Not Human

Well, duh. But let’s break this down a bit. When we are writing content, we want to convey personality, vulnerability, and emotion. We also want to encourage the reader to connect with us and feel some of those same emotions.

However, artificial intelligence is, very clearly, not human intelligence. The writing style of an AI-produced piece of content may not convey human emotion in the same way we do, it does not speak with the same cadence or syntax as human speech, and it may not utilize the types of industry shorthand that content consumers will expect.

Many systems are learning to reverse-engineer the methods of AI production machines to determine if, for example, university students are using AI to write their academic papers. Sophisticated readers will be able to identify the patterns and stylistic methods of AI-generated content. As consumers of content, we need to be able to trust the reliability of the content. AI’s robotic voice can ultimately deter consumers.

AI Can Be Repetitive, and Even Plagiaristic

The first rule of writing is “never plagiarize,” and using AI runs that very risk. AI-generated content is repurposed and rewritten content from elsewhere on the internet, and using it will create a risk scenario in which you repeat or even plagiarize other work, sometimes resulting in penalties from search engines and a reduced reach. Some internet experts actually consider anything AI creates to be plagiarized, so even if it’s not directly found somewhere else on the web, the fact that it was not created by you makes it plagiarism.

Your Voice and Expertise Are Your Most Important Assets

Recognize AI for what it is, and then use it wisely. Understand the pros and cons and proceed with intelligence and integrity. AI-generated content may produce a basic recipe, but your skills, expertise, and personality are the principal means by which you will draw in an audience and finalize the product. If you absolutely insist on using AI in your workflow, be sure to apply your expertise, humanity, and ideas to refine and polish the work.

Your voice and expertise are what your audience needs and craves – reliability starts with a foundational trust established between the brand and the audience. Hold that trust with the integrity that your audience expects and use AI mindfully.

And if you’re using AI-generated content, please, please, PLEASE hire a writer to look over it and make sure it sounds human. I promise it will be worth your time and investment to do so.

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