In recent years, we’ve seen a huge upsurge in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. However, one area where AI has had little impact is writing content for blogs. In fact, many people don’t know that AI can be used to write blog posts at all.
🤖If you guessed that the above introduction was generated with writing AI, you’d be right.
(Now back to the human.) Writing is a ton of work. It takes an average of three hours and sixteen minutes to write 1000 words.
It’s no wonder that many marketers and business owners are wondering if AI can live up to its promises.
In this post, we’re putting artificial intelligence to the test.
Table of contents:
- What is writing AI?
- Can writing AI help with blog post writing?
- Blog post topic ideas
- Blog post introduction paragraph
- Blog post outline
- Blog content improvements
- Social media promotional copy
- Email newsletter headlines
- Top writing AI apps
- What can writing AI do in 2021?
- What is the future of writing AI?
What is writing AI?
Writing AI is artificial intelligence technology that analyzes large data sets in a certain language in order to produce written content in desired formats.
Most writing assistants today offer short-form copy like headlines, bullet points, and short paragraphs. They require some direction. The input is usually sentences and phrases meant to guide the AI’s output towards something relevant and useful.
Writing AI is used for several different functions: marketing copywriting, novel writing, essay writing, and even editing.
Can writing AI help with blog post writing?
As content marketers, we know that blog writing is one of the most tedious, time-consuming activities.
While help with email headlines is nice, real help with blog writing would be an absolute godsend.
But can writing AI really product quality content?
Let’s find out.
We used Conversion.ai’s writing assistant named Jarvis.
Blog post topic ideas
First, we’re checking out how Jarvis can help with blog post headlines.
Here’s an example writing AI output:
12 Ways to Improve Your Content Collaboration
The topic ideas are pretty good actually. The output of five headlines gives us three listicles that require little editing to be useful.
The third output (What are some of the main content management issues that your company aims to solve?) seems more like an FAQ for handling sales objections. However, we can easily change this to read more like a blog post, such as How to Solve Common Content Management Issues.
AI can give you some great ideas for blog posts, but you’ll need to change the “product description” to the general topic you want to cover, to generate new ideas each time.
Blog post introduction paragraph
Next, let’s see how the AI does when we ask it to write our blog post introduction. We can select the number of outputs to get different options to choose from.
Here’s an example writing AI output:
Starting a blog post with an interesting intro paragraph is tough. Writing one manually can be time consuming and tedious. Finding the right topic to write about can also be difficult if you don't have many ideas or don’t know how to generate more content ideas for your business. Fortunately, there are solutions that make writing easier and quicker than ever before - using artificial intelligence (ai) in the form of chatbots!
The first three sentences in the above example are simple and to the point. Unlike common fears about AI, these don’t sound like they were written by a robot.
While the first three sentences sound human enough, it is odd that all three begin with an -ing word. It creates a slightly unnatural flow.
Also, the paragraph includes “chatbots” which is totally irrelevant to the topic. And worse, there is an unnecessary exclamation point.
When it comes to actual writing, the AI is less helpful than with ideating. However, with some quick editing, this intro paragraph is usable.
Blog post outline
Next up, let’s see how Jarvis does with ideating an outline.
An example of writing AI output for an outline is:
1. What is writing AI?
2. How does it work?
3. Why should I use it for my blog post?
4. Who can benefit from using ai-generated content on their website or blog?
Between the five different outputs generated, the AI covers some basics, like the what, who, and why of the topic. The phrases are also pretty much ready to use.
Each outline has only three or four points, so it’s disappointing that the outlines don’t get deep. You also can’t add more criteria as an input, such as the familiarity level.
All things considered, the outline feature can be used when writing a high-level overview or introduction to a topic. It likely can’t produce an outline for advanced content and thought leadership.
If you’re really stuck in the outlining phase, it does offer some quick wins to get your brain working again.
Blog content improvements
While Jarvis can’t yet write long-form content, it does offer content improvements. You can add up to 400 characters at a time, and have the text rewritten for you.
Here’s an example output:
Artificial intelligence has made its way into many industries, including the writing industry. Writing AI is artificial intelligence technology that analyzes large data sets in order to produce written content in desired formats. They require some direction; input is usually sentences and phrases meant to guide the AI’s output towards something relevant.
Most writing assistants today offer short form copy like headlines, bullet points, and short paragraphs.
The writing AI has produced clear and informative copy. Unlike some of the other features where the outputs are very similar, the content optimizer produces very different options to choose from.
Some sentences are a bit awkward or strangely worded, and the first option reads more like an introductory paragraph rather than an improvement on the input.
If you have a blog post that you want to repurpose into a different post on a similar topic, this might help speed up some of the rewriting, so you’re not posting duplicate content.
Social media promotional copy
So maybe AI can’t help you write an entire blog post. What about the promotional copy required to share the post on social media? Let’s see what happens when we use Jarvis’ social media feature.
Here’s an example output (the only one somewhat usable):
Writing AI is very much in its infancy. Are you using a tool that will stand up to this brave new world? Or are you writing it yourself and hoping for the best?
Unfortunately, this is the most disappointing use case so far. I had wrongly assumed it would be the best at writing social media copy, but alas that’s not the case. The only good thing here is the ideas generated, not the copy. We can take this and use it to inspire posts with a definition of writing AI, what skills writing AI offers, and the cost-effectiveness of writing AI.
The first post isn’t related to writing, the second is incomplete, the third is falsely confident, the fourth is so-so, and the fifth is completely crazy.
Writing AI can’t generate social media copy for you (sorry). But it can offer some ideas. However, the cost of the subscription might not be worth it, since you can easily find prompts and ideas online.
Email newsletter headlines
And lastly, let’s see how Jarvis might be able to help produce some email newsletter headlines that could be used when sharing a blog post.
Here’s an example of what Jarvis generated:
Why you should hire a human writer
For email headlines, the AI has generated some that could be usable (Artificial intelligence for writers, Artificial intelligence is writing the content you need). It’s also pretty hilarious that it told us to hire a human writer. 😉
The subject lines are all pretty basic and boring. They don’t offer a unique spin on the subject, and they wouldn’t position a company as a subject matter expert.
The subject lines it generates are so obvious, that they likely aren’t worth paying a subscription for.
Top writing AI apps
There are many AI-powered writing assistants on the market today. Here are some of the more popular companies that use AI to help customers write better:
- Grammarly - Grammar and spell checker
- StoryChief - SEO optimizer and readability optimizer with specific suggestions
- ProWritingAid - Similar to Grammarly, but designed for academic papers
- Skillroads - AI-powered resume writing and LinkedIn profile editing
- Textio -Augmented job listing writing
- AI writer - Gathers resources and information for writing articles
- Articoolo -Helps with researching and rewriting articles
- Essaybot - Social media writing tool
- Frase - Analyzes search results to help when writing SEO content
- TapRecruit - Revises job summaries and listings
- WordAI - Writes article paragraphs
So, what can writing AI really do in 2021?
Now the question becomes, what can writing AI really offer today?
It can offer ideas to help you write better content.
It can also help you revise your content to be more grammatically accurate and rank in search.
Plus, it can give you a starting point. You can edit and add to what an AI writing assistant produces.
But what it can’t do is write a high-quality, well-researched blog post that positions your company as a thought leader.
What is the future of writing AI?
In the near future, we’ll see even more companies starting to use AI for content improvements.
Many companies are still not using AI in an editing and revising capacity, which is what AI is currently the strongest at.
For example, a readability and SEO optimizer can show a writer where to make improvements in their article.
And in the long run, AI will improve when it comes to writing content. For simple, introductory blog posts, AI might become usable in just a few short years.
However, for very high-quality thought leadership, don’t expect AI to be of help anytime soon.
StoryChief is a content marketing software that brings your collaborators and content channels in one place. Learn more.