What is AI copywriting?
Simply put, it's a form of writing content that is done by a computer.
But how does it actually work, and would you want to use it in your business?
In this blog post, we'll explore those questions and more.
We'll look at the benefits and risks of AI copywriting, and we'll also give you a few tips on how freelancers can use AI to make more money.
What is AI copywriting, and how does it work?
AI copywriting is a form of writing content that is done by a computer. The way it works is by using algorithms to generate text that is similar to what a human would write.
Platforms like GPT-3 (or the upcoming GPT-4) leverage neural networks to analyze billions of words that are publicly available on the Internet.
The AI looks at a set of data (such as a corpus of existing texts) and tries to find patterns. It then uses these patterns to generate new text.
What's cool is that there are tools like Jasper.ai which are specifically trained on copywriting patterns. For example, you can have Jasper create content following the popular AIDA or PAS frameworks.
For example, if the computer sees that a lot of articles on a certain topic start with a certain type of sentence, it will try to generate a new article that also starts with that type of sentence.
Of course, this is an overly simplified explanation of how AI can complete copywriting tasks for you.
If you want to dive deeper into the technical details, I recommend reading through this article on GPT-4.
The benefits of AI copywriting
My goal with this blog post is to give you a neutral perspective on creating content using AI.
That's why I want to give you a full disclaimer: I use AI for copywriting tasks and parts of this blog article are written using Jasper Boss Mode.
With that said, let's explore some of the benefits of using AI copywriting tools.
One of the main benefits is that it can save you a lot of time.
If you're a busy entrepreneur or freelance writer, you know that time is precious.
By using an AI tool like Jasper, you can generate the first draft of an article in a matter of minutes.
You can write headlines for ads or websites, subject lines for emails, or even script videos and write entire blog posts using AI.
This is a huge time saver, and it allows you to focus on other tasks (or simply take a break).
By having a tool create the first version of your content, you have an effective way to overcome writer's block.
I still remember my first blog in 2013...
I wrote a blog article every single week and even though I got the blog up to 500 visitors per day at its peak, coming up with ideas for the articles and then writing them was a painful process.
If I had a tool like Jasper back then, it would have saved me a lot of time and energy.
The risks of AI copywriting
Where there's light, there's also shadow. AI copywriting isn't just the magic wand that the SaaS providers try to make us believe.
Let's talk about some of the risks of using AI copywriting tools in your business, be it for your clients or for your own content marketing.
Most of these are things I've experienced myself since starting to use Jasper.ai when they launched their beta program called Conversion.ai at the end of 2020 / early 2021.
The content may not be original.
When a computer is generating text, there is a risk that it will simply copy content from other sources. This could lead to a loss in traffic or even a penalty from Google.
Granted, most of the AI tools are now pretty sophisticated and as a general rule, you should never just copy & paste AI-generated content into your website or a social post.
Using AI copywriting to write about statistics and facts is another beast though - I'd say from experience that it's impossible to have AI pull out the right numbers and facts for you.
Oftentimes, when I'm writing a blog article with Jasper, it would pull up references to dates or statistics.
Especially when you're trying to make a point about something, it's important to back it up with facts.
This means that you need to have numbers and statistics to prove what you're saying.
I use the data from Jasper as reminders to bolster up my content with facts and then confirm the right numbers and sources manually.
For example, did you know that 94% of B2C content marketers use content marketing to grow their businesses? (Source: CMI).
If you're freelancing in B2C, you know now that you cannot omit content marketing and should potentially consider using AI to get more freelance clients.
Writing blog posts using AI is another great way to build your audience.
The quality of the content may not be as good as human-created content.
Since the computer is simply following a set of rules, it may not be able to create content that is as well-written or persuasive as content created by a human.
The computer is not (yet) able to understand the nuances of human language, so the content may sound a bit robotic.
It's important to keep this in mind when using AI copywriting tools and to make sure that you're editing the content before publishing it.
If you don't have time to edit, then it makes sense to hire a virtual assistant or use service providers who can do the editing for you.
You'll get duplicate outputs or outputs that don't make any sense.
Don't forget that AI copywriting is just that - software trying to replicate what humans do best, convey emotions and get people to take action.
No matter what AI platform you use, you'll see that the outputs of the software are completely different from what you expected.
This is just the reality of working with AI copywriting tools and you need to be prepared for it.
The important thing is to not get discouraged by a few bad outputs and to keep trying until you find a tool that works for you.
For me personally, AI copywriting is almost a playful process.
I have the AI create content, e.g. for this blog post or for the subject lines in my email newsletters, and then see how I can adapt the outputs or spin them off in a way that makes sense.
Sometimes, I'd say about 50% of the time, the outputs are almost ready to be used and just require minor tweaks.
The sentences are usually very long and thus a bit hard to understand.
Since you've read this far, you know by now that I prefer shorter sentences.
Maybe it's my German nature to get straight to the point.
AI copywriting tools have a learning curve.
Don't expect any AI content creation tool to work out of the box.
You have to learn how to feed them with the right inputs.
It takes time and practice to create quality content with AI.
If you're just starting out, I recommend that you set aside a few hours to dive into the copywriting tool and play around with it.
One of the reasons I love Jasper.ai so much and keep raving about it is their extensive training library.
If you're their customer, you get courses on writing website copy, creating SEO content, and even building a content creation agency from scratch - absolutely free.
How to make AI use your tone of voice
The most common objection I hear from marketers about AI copywriting is that it won't pick up their tone of voice.
Maybe you too are afraid that you'd end up rewriting the majority of AI-generated content to make it "your own".
And that'd be a fair argument - but also misses the point of AI copywriting in my eyes.
You see, the goal is not to have the AI create a piece of content that you could've written yourself. If content creation is that easy, just do it.
The goal is to use AI as a tool to come up with ideas or topics that you would never have thought of on your own.
And then - this is important - you take these ideas and put them into your own words.
The AI is a source of inspiration, a thesaurus on steroids, and a content idea machine.
But it's not a replacement for you, the human writer.
At least not yet.
So how do you make sure that the tone of voice in your AI-generated content is consistent with the rest of the content on your website, social profiles, etc?
And if you're writing copy for your clients, then you obviously need to ensure it matches their tone of voice, too.
How freelancers can use AI to make more money
If you're a freelance writer, then you know that one of the biggest challenges is to constantly come up with new ideas for articles, blog posts, or even books.
You can only write about a certain topic so many times before you run out of things to say.
Yet, you need to stay in front of your ideal customer with relevant content consistently - right?
If you're not using AI to help you with content creation, then I have some bad news for you:
You're missing out on a huge opportunity.
An AI copywriting tool can help you scale your business in a way that would otherwise be impossible.
Think about it: You could use the tool to come up with a list of ideas for blog posts.
Then, you could batch-create the content using AI tools or hire a team of writers to produce the content for you.
You could even outsource the entire process and have the AI tool generate the content, have it edited, and then post it to your blog - all executed through affordable virtual assistants.
See how you can free up your time?
Besides letting you stay in front of your target audience regularly, you could even use AI content tools to:
- Sell content creation services at scale,
- Provide copywriting services for ads or website copy,
- Script videos for video sales letters,
- Do email copywriting,
- And a lot more.
As I've said above, AI copywriting is not the ultimate solution to all content marketing challenges.
But you can surely save hours every week creating content when leveraging AI.
Take this article as an example.
Writing this in Jasper.ai took me about 40 minutes - not bad for an article this long.
I'll spend about 20 minutes adding internal and external links and editing it to turn all lights in my SEO plugin in WordPress green - and then it's good to go.
Plus, with 1800+ words of content, I am sitting on at least 10 tweets and two emails that I can repurpose this article into.
Copywriting is still a challenging task - it involves a complex process of human behavior and cognition.
However, with the help of AI tools, freelancers like you and I can more effectively produce high-quality content that is consistent with our tone of voice and brand.