AI content creation

Why you should avoid using AI when writing content for your website

Alex Johnson
Owner, Designer & Strategist

Artificial Intelligence or AI has been a huge buzz recently. With the release of tools such as Chat GPT (https://chat.openai.com) people have been using this interactive software to help solve everyday problems. And if the hype is to be believed, it finally seems like there is an easy way out of writing content.

But there are some major problems with using AI to write your content completely on its own. Let me start with a story to give you an idea.

I am part of a large group very active on Facebook. Recently, to shortcut the knowledge-sharing process, people have been copying the questions asked in the group to the Chat GPT bot. Then Chat GPT answers the question. This does not seem like a bad thing until… everyone in the group only answers the questions this way.

With no human element involved anymore, the group loses interest. The posts no longer have personal experience involved. If all the answers are formulaic, then the group might as well not be there. If you can come up with that answer exactly on your own, why ask anyone else at all?

The problem, in this case, grew so fast, that within a few weeks, the admin had to make a rule of not using Chat GPT or other AI bots to answer any questions. People are in the group for personal experiences and discussions. The AI took all that away.

The fear of AI

We as a human race are very two-faced on the whole subject of AI. We fear AI and robots taking over our jobs. But on the flip side, we are totally ok with AI taking over the meaningless aspects of our lives. We need the ability to produce income through our jobs, but if AI can make our lives easier, why not?

Will AI take over our lives
Will AI take over our lives?

When the first robots came to the factory floors, there was a massive outcry. Robots will replace us all. And those that write or design said: “who cares, our jobs are much too complex to ever be replaced”. And as the new AI content and graphic bots come around, the same writers and designers scream and coward in fear.

What we need to remember is these are all tools. Sure robots replaced some unsafe or repetitive jobs. AI will replace some of the meaningless little tasks. No different than us asking Google every little question we have.

But instead of the negative aspect, we can shine a positive light on this. Robots freed humans from some risky tasks. They allowed us to pursue better jobs. AI is no different. It will free up time, so we can produce our best work.

So why not let AI write completely?

If AI seems so great, why should we not just let it take over the content for our websites? This is where my little story before comes in. AI is great at giving you answers. But it cannot replace your personality.

More than once I have written articles on the importance of personality in your website copy. This is true today just as much as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Sure, an emotionless bot can give me the answer. But I am drawn to the people. (Read one of the articles here)

And we don’t always want just an answer. We buy many of the things we have in our lives on impulse and then need to justify that purchase. I bought this big expensive item, so now how can I ensure I feel great about the purchase when the credit card bill comes?

AI content is great at laying out the facts. But facts alone don’t sway people’s emotions. A story with my feelings and experiences, however, can convince or convert you to my point of view.

You know your ideal customer best

Your ideal customers is not just someone needing a haircut
Your ideal customers are not just someone needing a haircut

It’s your business. Long before AI became a thought in your mind, you decided who you wanted to work with. And if you opened your business the right way (or even run it the right way), you take time to study and understand who you are serving.

This knowledge gives you the power to speak to them. You know their problems, fears, and what motivates them. Everything you create should be designed around this knowledge.

Because you know your ideal customer so well, you can speak their language. Over time this probably even becomes second nature to you. A customer comes into your store with a problem, and you can talk to them about it without a second thought. In terms they understand. And they come to you because of this fact.

If you used AI to write all your content, then there will be a disconnect between how you speak to your customers and how the content your share speaks to them. No matter how hard you try, the AI will never have your experiences. It cannot put the personality you have into anything.

AI is crowdsourced knowledge

Have you ever been scrolling along on Reddit or Facebook and seen a post about a topic and some of the answers to the post are completely wrong? I know I have. We each have experiences and those experiences might not work for the next person. Or we share something without trying it first.

To make AI smart, it uses the information it finds on the internet to form its answers. And it might even take content it finds and shares that as part of its answer. Off the cuff, this might not seem a big problem.

But what if the source it uses to gather the answer to your inquiry is not 100% correct? Or that small section it copied and tweaked slightly was someone else’s intellectual property? Do you really want to chance getting sued for something you did not even realize was there?

Yes, we all have our opinions. Heck, this whole article is my opinion on AI writing copy. There are facts spaced throughout the article, but it’s still based on my opinion.

The only opinions that should be on your website or in your content should be yours. What anyone else says or has an opinion on does not matter. Your customers come to you for your knowledge and opinion. They trust you. Not AI.

Google is looking out for AI

As AI is being used to generate more content, cheating is becoming a growing concern. People are using Ai to answer test questions, crowdsource problems, and even cheat on homework. They are using it to quickly write things for work and pass this work off as theirs.

The makers of Chat GPT, Open AI, have even started to try and tackle this problem (Read the article). Over time, AI will become more mainstream, and it will become harder and harder to know when someone used an AI to answer a question without a solution.

Google will find AI content
Google will find AI content

But Google is on the lookout for AI content. According to Google, using AI to create content for your website is against their guidelines and will get your site penalized (Read the article). It’s only a matter of time before the watermarking techniques discussed in the article above are working perfectly and there will be no question either. Soon people will be able to place your content in a tool and know instantly if AI wrote it, without question.

If you consider the sheer number of websites that Google looks at each day, it has a darn good basis of ways to compare AI to humans. You will be found. It’s not worth it.

The reward is being human. Make sure you are the creator of all your content. Take the time to do the work and reap those rewards.

So how can I use AI to help me?

Like everything, artificial intelligence has its place. You don’t have to avoid it like the plague. Now that you know why you should not use it to write your content alone, how can you use it?

The answer is pretty straightforward: AI is a tool. You can use it to help with research. You can use it to give you new ideas. Generate topics. Quickly write theories.

But that is as far as it goes. You take the content you get from the AI and write complete articles on your own. Not just rewording it here and there, but complete content. Follow up on any research you use it for. Find references and ensure the answers the AI gave you are correct.

Using AI to help you write
Using AI to help you write

AI will have its place in the future. But taking the human out will not work. Instead, use it to help expand on what you can come up with. Or to get your creative juices flowing.

For example, if I wanted to quickly research topics related to small business marketing, I could ask Chat GPT for 25 headlines on small business marketing. Then from that list, I could choose the top 10 that interest me and my audience, rework the topic to a well-formatted and strong headline, and then write an article about the topic.

Use the tool for what it is, and not trying to skate out of work. It’s the work that we do that defines our success, not the ways we find to avoid work.

Wrap up

Artificial intelligence is not going away. Technology will continue to evolve and get better with time. Just like Google went from one of many search engines to one powerful engine everyone uses, AI-generated content will find a place in our daily lives.

The key is to take advantage of what the tool can offer you, while not using it to shortcut the process of your content creation. Humans will always be happier with the content other humans create. Emotion and feelings are required.

Don’t let your audience down by trying to con them into thinking you wrote something. It won’t help you in the long run. Rewards are always paid to those who put in the work.

Now go write something.

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