Chapter 5: Writing for the Web
The introduction of generative artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT presents both opportunities and challenges for bloggers and other writers. In the coming years, there will be many discussions about and potentially regulation of many legal and ethical aspects of artificially generated content.
In February 2023, Vanderbilt University made national news when it used AI to write an email to its students about a mass shooting at another university. The email noted that it was paraphrased from an AI tool. Students spoke out about the insensitivity of using the tool for such a tragic situation and the university apologized.
A human touch to writing matters even when the topic is not tragic or extremely sensitive. For example, Google looks for content from an “Experienced Expert” on a given topic, and it looks for things like topic experience and expert authority that are not easily replicated by an AI tool.
Sally Kuzemchak at Real Mom Nutrition says she would never use AI to completely write posts and can sometimes tell when other bloggers have done that.
“The readers who come back to your site again and again are coming there for YOU and YOUR voice,” she says. “A personal connection with your readers is something that AI will never be able to compete with.”
Specifically for blogging, Kuzemchak recommends that writers compete with AI by always putting at least a snippet of their own experience or perspective into every post.
“Anyone can find a muffin recipe or a travel itinerary using ChatGPT. But YOU can talk about how you tested that blueberry muffin recipe 11 times to make it perfect or describe an amazing meal you had at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant on a trip to Chicago. Those details tell your reader: This person is real. They’re like me, they get me, I can trust them. That’s something they can never feel with AI.”
Artificially generated also can be inaccurate or lack the latest information, so it’s crucial to double check sources and facts when using these tools.
However, generative AI offers bloggers and other writers a new tool to use as they craft content. For example, Kuzemchak says she uses ChatGPT to help brainstorm headlines, meta descriptions and post outlines. AI also can generate a first draft for a blog post or article that a writer can modify to add expertise, personal examples, quotes or other information from credible outside sources.
Kuzemchak notes that she also uses AI for her blog in ways that go beyond content generation. She also uses the tool RankIQ to identify low-competition search terms and optimize posts with keywords for increased website traffic.