A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of speaking to a college class of aspiring content creators on the topic of AI writing tools.
This was a lively bunch of students who were eager to learn.
But I was shocked to hear that many of these students felt nervous about the increasing amount of AI writing tools making their (human) jobs obsolete.
What are your thoughts? Do you use them sparingly, all the time, or are they evil to be feared and avoided at all costs?
As someone who makes a living creating content, I’m still trying to figure it out.
But I have been doing my own tinkering to see what AI could churn out to
help me answer those questions.
Here’s one of my experiments where I asked an AI tool a question: "Can you describe your friend's most cherished item?"
Here was the AI response:
My friend's most cherished item is a cookbook passed down through generations in her family. Its worn pages and handwritten notes evoke nostalgic memories of loved ones cooking together. The cookbook holds treasured family recipes, connecting her to her roots and bringing immense joy to her culinary passion.
It’s not bad, but it felt like it was missing something. So I decided to rewrite it.
Here’s my version:
My best friend collects vintage cookbooks; the older the better. They're stacked in neat piles around her kitchen. For decoration. For inspiration. For reference.
She's not necessarily interested in the recipes themselves; the books remind her of the ingenuity of simpler times–how less convenience didn't mean less joy. She's always smiling when she's in the kitchen.
Which version do you think is better?
To me, I think the human version (the one I wrote) has more…soul, I suppose? It reads more naturally, feels more authentic, and has a stylized cadence that AI tools really struggle to replicate.
But most importantly, it’s written the same way I speak. The AI version is factually true, but I feel it lacks the emotional angle that makes it memorable.
Closer to an answer
No one can deny that the quality of AI-generated content is well-written but it can lack nuance, creativity, and personality, making it challenging to engage readers.
But that doesn't mean you should dismiss AI writing tools entirely. Quite the opposite, I think they work well for generating ideas around short-form copy, helping you modify a sentence or paragraph you’ve already written, or just getting an initial draft down (that you can then
polish up and give that human touch.)
Personally, I’ve also found it helpful in streamlining my research process, as it provides some good ideas for things to cover around the topics I write
So the million-dollar question is: how do you make what's written still sound like you?
AI is Your Companion, Not Your Replacement
AI tools shouldn't be seen as replacements for talented writers.
It can't match your ability to provide context, draw conclusions, and develop exciting angles.
Your audience follows you for the personal touches and insights that only you can provide. You’re reading this newsletter because of the value and emotional connection that only Chris V, Sean T, and myself provide in our unique writing styles.
But AI can be used as a tool to supplement your creative process and tackle the more tedious parts of writing. From there, you can review the content and make necessary edits to match your unique writing style.
In other words – use AI to write with you, not for you.
Here are some ideas for incorporating AI writing into your workflow without sacrificing your voice:
1 - Getting Unstuck
Writer's block (here are more ways to overcome writer’s block) is a common struggle among content creators. I struggled with it while writing this newsletter. Whenever I felt stuck, I bounced a few ideas off the AI to reignite my creativity.
For example: When coming up with suggestions and actionable insights on how AI can be used to help writers (rather than replace them), it kicked out a few ways AI tools can be used in a collaborative context. (That’s pretty meta,
2 - Proofreading & Editing
Having a fresh set of eyes is always handy for proofreading. AI can quickly spot typos and grammar mistakes faster than any human editor. Just double-check the suggested changes to ensure accuracy.
3 - Generating Ideas
Let AI help you generate ideas for your particular niche.
For instance, you could ask it to brainstorm ideas for your next newsletter or provide examples of efficient email marketing techniques.
4 - Summarizing Content
AI tools do a great job of shortening or summarizing lengthy content quickly.
comes in handy when you need to refresh or repurpose old content. I personally love using this feature as a shortcut to read long research articles. With one click, I can create a summary of the key takeaways.
For example, you could take a blog post and ask AI to summarize it for a newsletter.
5 - Rough First Drafts
You don't have to start from scratch. If you've ever spent hours laboring over a first draft, you can now hand that over to AI. From there you can refine and edit in your voice.
Sign up to get AI in AWeber
Get some AI help when writing your next email. Sign up for an AWeber account to get access to this awesome feature.
This is a great tool to experiment with to see how AI can help you write your next email.