ChatGPT for Content Marketing Writing? Five Reasons I’m Not Worried AI Will Steal My Job

A lot of hay is being made about ChatGPT being the future of writing. It’s being celebrated by entrepreneurs who are using it to churn out content within minutes, and being given some serious side-eye by actual human writers who, like me, make their living from writing B2C marketing content.

What is ChatGPT, you ask? It’s an AI interface, developed by OpenAI and hosted on their servers, that is being touted as the next step in the evolution of search technology. Basically, it’s an artificial intelligence that answers questions when asked.

But it doesn’t only churn out quick answers for information seekers. It can write entire essays and articles. It can even write fiction. And it does these things well enough that schools and universities are having to crack down on students using ChatGPT to do their homework for them.

Some freelance writers are also using this program to do their work for them – or at least to speed it up. Hire a low-pay freelancer off of Fiverr or Upwork, and you might end up paying for an AI generated piece of content, which may or may not have been edited and polished by your human content writer for hire. Many busy entrepreneurs are skipping the middle man and simply using this program to write their own content without needing to pay anyone.

This new reality is making some freelance content writers higher up on the experience ladder a bit uncomfortable. Once the word gets out that marketers can simply instruct a chat bot to write their marketing content, will that spell the end of our freelance content marketing writer careers?

Not based on what I’ve seen so far. I’ve played around with ChatGPT’s content writing abilities, and here are 5 reasons why I’m not worried that it will be stealing my job any time soon.

  1. Its writing is perfunctory at best. This is why hirers might not notice the difference between AI-generated content and the usual fare they get from low-pay writers – it’s about the same level of writing skill you’d get from the sort of writer who’s happy to charge under a nickel a word. If I were competing on job bidding sites, I’d be concerned. But the clientele I write for pays a premium for excellently written content, and they’re happy to do so because they know the value of quality content that gets results. Turning in an AI-generated article would fool no one at this level and would likely get me fired.
  2. The information tends to be high-level and basic. You can keep playing around with it to get it to go deeper, but for as much time as that takes I can just Google some sources or reach out to an expert source with my questions.
  3. The information it provides isn’t always accurate. ChatGPT has been criticized for, basically, making things up and providing misinformation. Any article it churns out needs to be thoroughly fact-checked and vetted.
  4. It lacks the human element – for now. I admit, I have some concerns about machine learning and how this AI grows smarter with each use. Will it eventually be able to do a better job of mimicking humans? That’s a somewhat creepy possibility to contemplate. But the writing I produced using this program felt very flat, lacking in style and creative flair.
  5. It lacks empathy — and empathy is critical to being an effective content marketing writer. My clients need writers who can put themselves in their customers’ shoes and empathize with the problems and challenges that lead them to seek out the solutions my clients offer. An AI simply can’t do that, and I’m not convinced that’s something AI will ever learn to do well.

All of that said, in my experimentation I did discover a few ways that ChatGPT could come in handy for speeding up my workflow and making my job a little easier:

  • Keyword research – the AI is excellent at suggesting related key words and phrases that I can work into my articles to enhance SEO.
  • Headlines and subheads – I sometimes get stumped when it comes to writing effective headlines and SEO-friendly subheads. ChatGPT can generate some pretty good suggestions that work great with a little tweaking.
  • Ideation – Another thing I’m not great at is coming up with ideas for articles to pitch that haven’t already been done to death. It takes some creative question phrasing to drill down to a level that might actually pique an editor’s interest, but it gave me a few ideas that I might be able to develop into something worthwhile.

All in all, I think ChatGPT has the makings of a helpful automated virtual assistant. But I would never use it to do my writing for me, and based on what I’ve seen, I have nothing to worry about as far as my clients deciding to dump me and publish AI-generated content from now on.

At least, for now. After all, we live in strange times. Who knows where all of this will ultimately lead?

Have you tried ChatGPT? What are your thoughts? Are there any ways you’ve found it helpful that I didn’t mention? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

Effective Content Marketing and SEO: How to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Years ago, if someone had told me I’d one day make my living as a content marketing writer, I’d have laughed in their face. Me? Marketing? I hate marketing. It’s so pushy and sales-y. I’d really rather not.

A lot of people feel that way. That word “marketing” is a real turn-off for many. Some people are born salespeople and can’t get enough of marketing, but I’m not one of them. And yet, marketing is necessary. How else will anyone learn about your brand or product if you don’t market it, and market it well?

Thank heavens for content marketing. What I didn’t understand back in those days when I would have laughed is that this approach is 180 degrees removed from those hard sales tactics that make introverts like me so squeamish. Not only that, but letting your content do your marketing for you is a highly effective way to create awareness for your brand, drive relevant traffic to your website, and build relationships and brand confidence that converts visitors into repeat business.

What’s Content Marketing?

It’s simple, really — content marketing means creating meaningful content that will appeal to potential customers and clients and attract them to your platform, where they can learn more about you and what you have to offer. That’s it.

Content marketing is a form of “pull” marketing — a passive form of advertising that captures interest and pulls people in where they can become curious and learn more. The opposite of this is “push” marketing, more aggressive forms of marketing such as ads and direct sales that push your products and services in front of people. When people say they hate marketing, they usually mean this second kind of “in your face” marketing. On the other hand, content marketing, if done correctly, doesn’t feel like marketing or selling at all. It feels more like sharing or having a conversation — because that’s exactly what it is.

Backing up a bit, what do I mean by “meaningful” content? Something that will provide value for your potential customer — typically, information that can help them solve a problem or that answers a question they’re asking. But meaningful can also simply mean entertaining. Preferably, your content will hit that sweet spot of being both informative and entertaining at the same time — or if not exactly entertaining, at least engaging enough that it won’t feel like a slog for your audience to get through.

Content marketing can take on myriad forms: an article, a blog post, a newsletter, an infographic, a tweet, a TikTok or Reel, a YouTube video and a podcast are just a handful of the more common examples. That’s one of the things I love most about this type of marketing — whatever your personality, whether you’re the most laconic of introverts or the most outgoing of extroverts or somewhere in between, there’s a form of content marketing that will suit your energy level.

But whatever form your content marketing strategy takes, it needs one vital component to truly succeed.

SEO Copywriting for Your Content Marketing Strategy

However engaging, entertaining or informative your content may be, it won’t matter if nobody sees it. That’s where SEO copywriting comes in. You’ve probably heard of SEO, and you probably already know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization, but you might not know much beyond that. A true SEO expert could regale you with lengthy explanations of algorithms and metrics and other terms that would likely make your eyes glaze over, but you don’t need to know all of that in order to effectively use SEO as part of your brand content marketing strategy. All you need to know are a few best practices for SEO and how to implement them.

But first, a quick sidebar on why this is important, and why you don’t want to treat it like an afterthought: SEO keywords are what makes it easy for the people who are seeking the information you provide to find that information. Think of a search engine like a match maker that matches your desired audience with your content.

Say you’re a pet writer who posted an awesome recipe for gluten-free peanut butter dog treats. The right SEO keywords will help get your recipe in front of people who are looking for awesome gluten-free dog treats. You created a video on how to teach puppies not to bite? SEO can help match your video with puppy parents who are tired of chewed up fingers. In short, SEO can help get more eyes on your content — eyes belonging to people who are searching for the exact type of content, and likely also the products and services, you have to offer.

With that in mind, here are a few SEO best practices that can make the difference between your content actually being seen or languishing in the no man’s land of page forty-five of search results:

1. Use relevant key search terms in your content

2. Build external links back to your content

3. Create internal links between your content

Let’s break these down.

How To Use Key Search Terms in Your Content: Placement is Everything

Key search terms, also known as key words or key phrases, are what tells search engines that your content is relevant to what someone is searching for. When you enter a word or phrase into a search engine, the search engine sends out robots to scour the internet for content that’s highly relevant to that search term and then present that content in order of what is most likely to satisfy your search request. So if you want your article or video to show up on the first page when someone searches “how to trim my dog’s nails,” you need to not only offer the best article on getting those nails trimmed, but you also need to include that phrase throughout your article.

But effective SEO isn’t a matter of cramming as many relevant search terms as you can think of into your content as many times as possible. That’s called keyword stuffing, and it’s a practice that can backfire, getting your content pushed way, way down in the rankings, or possibly de-listed from search listings altogether.

It’s much more effective to focus on one or two highly relevant search terms, or at most three, and place them strategically throughout your content. Where to place your key words? Follow these rules:

1. In the title — the title of your article, blog post, YouTube video, etc. should contain your primary key phrase. So using the above example, you would title your content, “How to Trim My Dog’s Nails.” If that’s not catchy enough for you, save your spice for after the key phrase: “How to Trim My Dog’s Nails: Expert Tips for Safe and Stress-Free Nail Trimming at Home.” Remember that an eye-catching title won’t catch any eyes if it’s too far down in the search rankings.

2. In the first paragraph — generally, it’s a good idea to use both your primary and secondary key search phrases within the first 100 words of your written content. That goes for descriptions on YouTube videos and podcast episodes as well as articles and blog posts.

3. In section headings — when it comes to articles and blog posts, a bonus SEO tip is to use a format that’s easy to read and easily skimmable. That means using short paragraphs and breaking your content up into sections with their own headings and subheadings. These section headings are a great place to highlight your key search terms.

4. In image file names, alt tags and title tags — When adding images to your content, most content management systems or blogging platforms will provide fields where you can enter or change the image file name as well as the alt and title tags. These are all great places to insert your primary target search term and give your SEO an extra boost.

5. In the URL of your post — Typically, your content management system will automatically do this for you when you include your key phrase in the title of your post. But if it doesn’t, if possible, edit your content’s URL to include your key phrase.

So how often should your key words appear in your content? Twice for each key phrase at a minimum. For longer content, such as articles longer than 800 words or so, aim for at least four times for your primary key phrase, not counting your title, URL and image tags. But try not to use it more than six times. You don’t want to risk getting penalized for overdoing it.

Boosting Your Content’s Search Engine Ranking with External Links

As essential as good keywords are, effective SEO isn’t built on keywords alone. External links — links to your content from other blogs and websites, also known as backlinks — will also help make or break your search engine rankings. The higher quality the links — that is, the more popular and trusted the websites linking back to your content — the better. These external links act as votes of confidence that let those busy little search engine bots know your content can be trusted.

External links can be a bit of a road block when developing your SEO strategy. After all, you don’t have a lot of control over whether another blogger or content creator decides to link to your content. But it’s not completely out of your control. Here are a few creative ways you can build back links to your content:

1. Write articles and guest posts for high-profile blogs that allow guest posters to include a byline or bio. Include a link in your byline to relevant content or a landing page on your own website.

2. Seek out interview opportunities. Become a go-to expert on YouTube shows and podcasts and ask the hosts to provide links to your content in the video description or show notes.

3. Sign up as an expert on Help a Reporter Out. Freelance writers and journalists use this service to find expert sources to quote in their articles, typically in exchange for full credit with a link back to your website.

4. Ask. It’s a bold approach, but there’s no harm in asking a blogger or content creator whose audience is similar to yours if their audience might be interested in your content. If they have content that’s also relevant to your own audience, offer to return the favor. The key word here is relevant. Don’t approach a blog that has nothing to do with the topic you’re writing about and expect a positive response. You’ll need to do a little research to find platforms that are a good match for your content.

5. Create your own. Articles you post to Medium, videos you post to YouTube, a separate blog you’ve got on a separate domain, and other platforms you operate external to the website or content you’re promoting are all places where you can link back to your content and provide an SEO backlink boost.

Maximizing SEO with Strategic Internal Linking

Internal links — links between posts and pages on your own website or blog — are much easier to achieve. As such, they don’t carry the same weight as external backlinks, but they still help provide a shot of positive “link juice” to your SEO, encouraging visitors to spend more time on your website. This not only tells those algorithms that the quality of your content makes people want to stick around; it also gives visitors a chance to learn more about your brand and what you have to offer.

So there you have it — a rundown of how content marketing and SEO strategy can help attract new customers or clients to your business. Need help putting it all into practice? A content marketing writer and SEO copywriter such as myself can help you develop and implement an effective content strategy that will appeal to your ideal customer and help build a relationship that goes beyond a one-time purchase and keeps them coming back.