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Hey. Can't you just get Chat GPT to do your writing?


*** UPDATE COMING SOON! MY VERDICT ON CHATGPT AND GEMINI AFTER 18 MONTHS' EXPERIENCE. (HINT: TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE PUTTING TOO MUCH FAITH INTO TECH THAT ISN'T ALWAYS AS HELPFUL AS IT SEEMS)


So, can you get ChatGPT to scribble your stuff for you? That's a question no freelance copywriter thought they would have to answer a few years ago. But honestly? Today? The world turned at the end of 2022 with the arrival of ChatGPT.

Here's the bottom line – you can try using AI to create content for your website or marketing material, but you need to intervene to make sure it is 'humanised' and doesn't fall foul of Google. This is actually something that a freelance copywriter can help with – AI is indeed a way for us to speed up certain processes. In some cases.

In March 2023, for example, one of my more progressive and switched-on clients asked me to create content for him using ChatGPT to see if it would expedite the process. It did. I shaved about 40% off the total time needed to write the kind of blogs I had written for him before.

Why did it not shave off 60 or 70%? Because everything takes time! To begin, I am a pretty fast writer with lots of experience, so ChatGPT had to beat me on that score, which it easily did. But I also had to think about what to ask the AI software so it would give me usable copy.

The copy that came back was mostly fine, but it then needed editing, a few things needed to be checked (a couple of 'facts' were completely wrong), and I had to run it through a plagiarism checker. It also needed loading into WordPress, running through Yoast – copywriting can be quite a process.

In this instance, then, it was a success of sorts. And that's my general feeling on ChatGPT: you can probably use it to create copy in certain circumstances.



Internal workings of a computer (very colourful)
A clever computer, yesterday


It's why I brought up the idea that we try it a few weeks later for another client who needed a large volume of landing pages. The first few I had written were extremely time consuming for me to create, as I didn't know his sector well. So I asked if he wanted me to give Chat GPT a go.

He did. Upon completion of the work, I estimate that I managed to halve my time and, hence, halve the amount I needed to bill him. But here's a couple of thoughts:

1/ There are lots of reasons why I wouldn't use ChatGPT to create copy. If you want a great homepage, for example, I have zero faith in ChatGPT coming up with something original, tailored, arresting etc. Chat GPT also doesn't use my pro SEO tools or bring years of creative thinking to the party (yeah! That's a thing!). So for those really important pages, I wouldn't touch AI. I wouldn't use it for a brochure, either. Or a clever sales page. In fact, there's quite a long list.

2/ I would only suggest trying ChatGPT to a client in those circumstances where I think it may help me to deliver what they need more quickly and, hence, at a more affordable rate. Most of the time I am booked up 3-5 weeks in advance, but if the copy required is sufficiently functional as to warrant AI intervention in order to get the job done swiftly, I'll try it if you want me to. Maybe.

3/ Let's not forget that there's a possible risk that Google will turn round at some point and say, 'Hey, we're going to penalise AI content now,' so transparency is key – I'm not going to get Chat GPT to do your work and not tell you. At the time of writing, AI-generated content that had been through a human editing process wasn't being penalised, as far as I can tell. But longer term? Who knows?


4/ In the coming years I think ChatGPT may help in as much as 30% of client engagements – even if it's just helping me to rapidly come up with some thinking points. It's probably best suited to clients who have a tight budget; who want high volumes of content; and who need copy that is more functional than creative. But please don't think that giving you usable copy that has AI at its core is a five-minute job. Sure, it speeds things up, but if you want copy that doesn't read like it was thrashed out by a computer, it will need a serious edit – which is where a seasoned copywriter comes in.

Let me know if you'd like to have a chat about all this.

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