SE Ranking COHORT WEEK 11- AI and Content Writing

Episode Summary.


AI writers learn a lot as humans do. They gather information and create content. And, like humans, they are trained.


In this episode, Tara Struyk breaks down how content writing and AI come together. She gives useful tips for writers to make the most of this technology


She talks about;

  • What Are AI Content Tools?
  • What AI Content Tools Can Do
  • 3 Schools of Thought About AI and Content
  • A Few Ways to Use AI as a Content Writer and more!


FCDC Cohort Sponsor.


Huge thanks to SE Ranking for sponsoring this content writing cohort and supporting the FCDC’s mission.


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Teacher’s Profile




✍🏾Name: Tara Struyk

✍🏾What Tara Does: VP of Content at Janalta

✍🏾 Company: Janalta

✍🏾Noteworthy:  Tara is a writer and editor with several years of experience in online media. She specializes in writing about personal finance, real estate, and health and wellness. 


Connect with Tara;




Key Insights.


💡An Overview of AI Content Tools 

Tara provides an insightful overview of AI content tools, emphasizing their growing importance in content writing. She categorizes these tools based on their capabilities, highlighting their ability to create readable content on various topics.


💡 Types of AI Content Tools

Tara delves into specific AI content tools, mentioning several prominent names like Chat GPT, Hemingway Editor, and Grammarly. She distinguishes their functionalities, from full-fledged content creation to assisting in different parts of the writing process


💡Three Schools of Thought on AI and Content

Tara explores three prevailing perspectives regarding AI’s impact on content writing. She addresses the concern that writers may become obsolete, discussing both the business angle and the marketing strategies behind AI products.


💡 AI in Content Briefs and Research

Tara highlights specific areas where writers can benefit from AI, such as content briefs, keyword research, and content research. She introduces AI tools that aid in generating content briefs faster and streamlining keyword clustering.



Epsiode Transcriptions.

Tara Struyk 0:07

So today I’m going to be talking about content writing and AI. I’ll load up my slides here, but it should be pretty interesting. It was interesting for me. Okay, can everybody see that? All good. Okay.


So, AI and content writing, it’s obviously a huge topic that we’re seeing right now, sort of more and more every day. I’m going to preface this by saying, I’m definitely not an expert here.


For me, I’m kind of in the stage where I’m doing a lot of watching and reading about it. Starting to think about how I want to use it, but just in the stage of the business that I’m in, it’s just not the time for us to be experimenting with it, we’re actually kind of moving into other things.


And so we’re not in the growth phase where we’re looking to do this at this point. But in the next few months, you know, I’m going to be in that place as well, where I’m going to be experimenting with these, with these tools, and kind of digging more into how to how AI can help improve the writing process or improve content marketing publishing.


So I’m saying I’m coming at this from the perspective of like, I’m thinking about it, I’m researching it, I’m aware of what’s out there. But I just want to say I’m not, you know, I’m not like the expert, or the last word on this, I think it’s important to be following what’s happening.


And just learning as these things come up, and as this whole conversation around AI and content writing, and, and honestly, AI and a lot of things in our life evolves. So I’ll kind of start, start at that start at that place.


Okay, so first of all start with AI content tools, because I think this is kind of the one that writers are probably mostly going to be dealing with seeing and even competing with. So it’s good for us to have an understanding of what are these? What kinds of things can they do?


Where are they going, kind of how we can use them. So basically, AI content tools as they stand right now. They can write content, some of them do a sort of, okay, job, some of them do a pretty good job at this point.


It’s really only in the past, maybe a year or two, that they’ve kind of arrived at this place that they can write something readable on a lot of topics. I don’t think anybody’s saying that. It’s amazing, but it’s not terrible.


And it could, it can work for some purposes. So you know, we’re kind of getting to this place where I think where before AI writing content was a little bit more theoretical. It wasn’t something that was necessarily happening now.


It’s definitely happening. And we’re hearing about it a lot. So how these tools work? Is they Right? Kind of like humans? Do. They gather information and create content. So where do they get that information from? It’s often the web or they’re trained on a certain set of some kind of information.


And that might depend on the type of writing that they’re designed to do. But they can learn types of content and styles, and mimic those styles not unlike you do when you’re reading content and learning to write better from it.


So it’s possible for AI to learn, you know, to write in specific ways write specific kinds of content, and also improve at that over time. It can take feedback or learn over time. So so far, we know that it can do things like or it can at least help us do things like create content briefs, write metadata, like meta descriptions, do preliminary research.


Provide corrections and suggestions for copy written by humans, and even write content like blog posts, email, copy, and check whether and how well content is optimised for SEO around a certain keyword. Here’s just a few there are more and more every day.


But here’s a few of the sort of bigger names or at least some of them are bigger names. In in content writing tools, a lot of them kind of focus on specific things are tailored for specific things like email copy or social media marketing. And you’ll see that we’ve talked about a few of the ones here like chat GPT, Hemingway editor and Grammarly.


So while some of them are designed to full on right copy like Jasper AI, I think copy AI by word a few of these, right copy a lot of them also a lot of them does help with parts of the writing process. So they’re kind of like an assistant.


So there’s different different options out there in terms of what these services programmes are trying to do. So when it comes to AI and content, there are kind of three schools of thought that I’m seeing kind of circulating around the internet in these discussions.


And they’re kind of interesting to think about, and it helps you understand the landscape, and kind of what’s happening there better. So the first one is, writers will become obsolete. So this is sort of like one side of the spectrum, where people are saying, we’re not going to need writers anymore, whether that’s coming from the business side, or that’s coming from a place of fear on the writer side, like, we’re not going to need writers anymore.


AI is going to write all the content, or at least a lot of it. And it’s going to change the world. And I think obsolescence is a real concern with any technology. I mean, we see that anytime there’s a real shift in the way we do things.


And the reality is, it’s probably going to have an impact for a lot of people. And it’s, it’s scary for writers, I think, right? And it’s, it’s, we’re right at kind of at that peak, right? Because like I said, these programmes have only just gotten to the point where they can produce something that could reasonably compete with a writer, or at least, you know, an entry level writer, right?


I don’t think they’re writing the most amazing content in the world. But they will get better, right? We’re in that, that opening phase, the technology is getting better, we’re at that place where it could accelerate from here, right.


But I think with this perspective, you also have to consider where it’s coming from. First, there’s the business angle, right? So for a business, and a business’s job is make money. The people at the top of that business, they’re looking at how can we cut costs and increase profits? Like that’s what they want to do.


And if they have 10 copywriters, or 100 copywriters, and they’re looking at this new technology, and and saying, Okay, well, I could do it with, you know, 10, or five, or one, or none. That’s a huge savings. For them.


That’s a massive shift in their profitability, of course, they’re going to pay attention to that, on the other side of that coin, are the people who are marketing these AI products that people who are creating them, right, they’re saying, We can do this, we can, we can increase this profitability, we can take the place of a writer on your team, because that’s how they’re going to sell that software.


And that’s whether that’s 100% reality or not, that’s where they’re headed. Right. That’s what they want. So I think I’m not saying that it’s not possible that a lot of writer jobs will, will be taken over we don’t know. But I think this, this extreme is pretty.


It’s, it’s comes from a couple of places one of fear and one of sort of like, business, right, and those two are not necessarily as close to the ground, with writing, with SEO, with some with reality, honestly, as some of the other perspectives around this, So personally, I don’t think this is what’s going to happen.


I think there’s always sort of like, with these technologies, it swings very far, one way, so we’ll probably see a lot of AI content. But we’re also seeing and as we’ll kind of look at later in the slides. People are already pushing back on this right.


So I think we’ll see that swing really far in one direction, then we’ll come back the other way. How far that way? I don’t know. We’ll we’ll have to see where it goes. But you kind of have to consider those perspectives. When you look at this, this school of thought around where AI is headed.


The second one is way on the other side of this perspective is that AI can never replace human writers. People want stories written by people, and I can’t connect with people like human writers you have AI has flaws that can never be overcome.


I think there’s some truth to all of these. But I also think that this argument is really flawed, just in the sense that AI is already writing content. It is putting pressure on human writers, right. Just in the past few months, we know that there are many websites that are relying on AI to generate content.


We know that many large sites like CNN and Buzzfeed and LinkedIn are using or experimenting with using AI generated content for better or for worse, like there’s been some better examples and there’s been some really horrible examples, but that’s coming out.


And those are just the ones that we know about. I mean, there could easily be more AI generated content that we’re reading, and we just aren’t aware of it. As of 2023 65%, of content marketing companies plan to use AI tools.


So we can see that a lot of writers a lot of content marketers are in this place right now, right? They want to be more competitive, maybe all their content isn’t being written by AI, but it’s certainly if it isn’t being assisted by AI at this point, it will, it will be in the near future.


And writers are pushing back on this, they’re worried about this. I mean, there was a recent Hollywood, sorry, somebody’s got a microphone on if they can see if I can, from my side. There’s a recent Hollywood writer strike. And a lot of it was just centred around securing protection against AI writers.


Right. So it’s, it’s something that is already happening. And I think the last point there is Google even loosened its guidance on AI generated content in one of its recent updates. So it’s, it’s here, you know, Google has accepted content is being written by AI and and we’re going to take that into consideration in our algorithm, for better or for worse Is it is it going to mean better quality writing on the web?


We don’t know. But that’s where we are, it’s happening. So I think the problem with the perspective that AI will never take over, it is already putting pressure and taking taking space there. So I kind of discard that one a little bit.


The last kind of school of thought, and this is the one that I see most in sort of the content marketing and SEO circles is that writers need to learn to leverage AI. So at least some content probably needs or benefits from a human touch. If efficiency is the name of the game, AI can help writers write more faster, better.


And I mean, if you think about it, if that’s what your competitors are doing, if that’s what your peers are doing, you kind of have to jump on that bandwagon, because otherwise you’ll be left behind. Ideally, automation can help humans focus on the things that AI can’t do. Creating coming up with unique, unique ideas.


Learning how to leverage expertise, there are some things that, you know, AI is not going to be able to take over. And the hope is that by giving some of these other tasks, automating some of these other parts of the writing process, people can actually write better content.


So I think that can be true, depending on how it’s used. Yeah, and then if peers or competitors are levelling up, you kind of have to do it. So I think this is, I think there’s a little bit of truth in all of them, right? Some jobs will probably be lost to AI.


Writers definitely need to be leveraging AI. And we are still going to have human writers. And we’re going to look a little bit more at some of that. But there are just some things that AI is not going to be able to do. So the next section we’re going to look at is working. Hmm, my slides on this didn’t update, that’s okay. Working with AI.


So some of the things as writers that you can start doing, start experimenting and learning. So we don’t know how AI will change the way we write content, but this will likely become part of the job. As I’ve been saying, using some of these tools is likely going to be part of being a writer being a content marketer.


So start following and reading people who know about this and are experimenting with this. I think that’s step one. It’s, you know, I showed you all the software’s there’s all these things out there.


It’s really overwhelming. And I think the best thing you can do is just cultivate a group of people that you can follow and listen to. We talked about the reading list right from the first class and I think this is a good topic to focus on in your reading, is finding people in a content marketing writing SEO space that are talking about AI, that are providing suggestions, going into some of those content, marketing, SEO, writing groups, you know, Slack channels, forums, whatever and seeing what people are testing.


And just learning from that. I I’m following quite a few people and watching that and when I see a suggestion that I think is really interesting, and I could see myself using I’ll put it down like I have a long list that I’m keeping have various programmes and things so that when it cut when I need to do something like that, when when the time comes for me to start looking for those tools, I’ve already kind of narrowed it down to some that I think are going to be appropriate for the things that I’m looking to do.


So I think that’s a good one to start looking at, and then start trying some of these tools. There are still free ones out there, chat GPT, still free, or there’s still a free version. And there’s lots and lots of people giving great information on working with that and providing prompts. There’s lots of other tools that have a free version, or are still free.


So I think it’s important to just jump into some of those and test them out. And think about what parts of your writing process you can leverage that you can leverage these tools for. To help you write faster, write better improve your process. I pulled out just a couple of people that I really liked following on these topics. shortlist obviously not comprehensive, but there’s lots of others.


And I think if you start following a few, you’ll follow some others. But yeah, Tim Hansen writes a lot about AI. And he’s actually just starting an AI programmatic writing company. So he has quite a bit. There. Rebecca Edwards talks on content marketing.


And you know, by necessity that includes some discussion around AI, Ben goodie tends to give specific tips and ideas for various things, tools to use around AI and writing. And then Lily Ray isn’t more on the SEO side and tends to talk about it more from the high level perspective in terms of Google, in terms of her thoughts and predictions on what’s going to happen in the future around that.


So this is kind of a good starting point, in my opinion, with some good insights. There’s lots more, and Marie Haynes is another one, she uses it more on the SEO side. But she’s interesting to just see how much she nerds out on, on prompts and trying to learn and understand how to get some of these programmes, especially chat GPT, she has worked with that a lot to do some of these tasks that are that are part of her job.


So I think also, as a writer, you’ve got to really lean into what AI can’t do. Ai written copy it, at least so far, it’s not it doesn’t have that same sparkle that human copy has. It can interview sources. It isn’t alive, it doesn’t have a perspective or experience.


It can’t provide something totally original, because it’s only kind of ingesting what it’s learned and putting it out in a new way. And a lot of writers to be honest, do this to a lot of really average copy.


Online is like, Okay, I read through these sources, I rewrote this in my own words, this is an article this is exactly kind of what a lot of AI copywriters are doing. So as a writer, you’ve really got to level up and learn to do better.


And these are some of the ways that you can do that. One of the examples that I think is really interesting, I was brought up by Eric Varangouli. She’s teaching one of the other FCDC courses right now.


And she’s the head of SEO branding at SEMrush. She did a really good deep dive into LinkedIn ‘s use of an AI content. And if you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen this these collaborative articles. These pieces are content written by AI but injected with perspectives and experiences from LinkedIn users that LinkedIn classifies as expert.


So that when you look at the example here, the copy on the left is auto generated, the copy on the right comes from experts. Without the experts, this content would be very bland and not that useful. I just don’t think anyone would ever read it or share it. Because there are experts. People are looking at it looking at their perspective.


And in a lot of cases, they’re bringing interesting tips that people really want to read. They have ideas and insights that ai ai doesn’t have because you know they have unique experiences in their careers and in their lives. So you know, this content isn’t perfect.


There’s definitely been criticisms about how the experts are chosen and even whether the some of the content written the AI written content on the left there is accurate or of high quality? In some cases, it isn’t. But the point I’m trying to make is that without the experts, it wouldn’t be nothing, there just really would be no point in hosting a page on this.


So, you know, can it be improved with some better editorial guard rails, probably. But it’s the human element that actually makes this worth anything at all. I think in terms of working with AI, you’ve also got to consider the scope. And I’ve touched on this a bit. But there are 50 billion web pages indexed on Google as of 2023.


And there is no shortage of average or below average quality content online. There’s just a lot of content on line on, I wouldn’t say every topic, there’s still a lot of niches that have not been tapped that much. If AI can make 1000s of pages, in short order, and do things that would take people months or years to accomplish.


What it means is that the content that people write needs to be really good, we don’t need more volume, you know, volume is not the issue. And I think over the last several years, Google has been trying to push the algorithm towards greater quality, and kind of shift it away from a place where quantity wins, I think there’s still, you know, there’s still some emphasis on the quantity side when you talk about topical authority and how much content you need.


But there does seem to be a little bit better emphasis in what Google is surfacing in terms of content quality. So as human writers, we can’t just turn out average content, and expect that to fly. AI can do that, for us.


And I think what what will allow human writers to survive, and the ones who will survive and thrive are the ones who can provide something really special that people actually want to read. And that is not easy. That takes work.


As I was kind of putting these slides together, I came across this idea or this story in futurism. And this just came out on Monday. So it’s a really new story. But it’s, if you haven’t heard it, it’s talking about how Sports Illustrated published a bunch of articles that were AI generated. And they even went as far as to create a fake writer.


So they had an AI generated photo of a human who wasn’t actually a person. And they were publishing those articles under that byline. The person had a, a bio, just like a real person, but this reporter kind of surface, the fact that these, this content isn’t written by a person.


And I think most importantly, Sports Illustrated is not being honest about the fact that this content is not being written by a person and they’re, you know, putting these fake writer profiles on on this.


And I read through this the other night, and it’s such a good article. And what really struck me about it is that this is exactly the kind of thing that AI cannot, right, right? I mean, it’s kind of interesting that it’s that it’s talking about AI content, and where it falls short.


But it’s it’s just a really clever, funny, well researched piece of content, it’s uncovering something that no one was aware of, right? It’s not something regurgitated, it’s brand new. And so it what really kind of struck me is, this is, this is something that that AI cannot do. And this article is being shared all over the place as a result.


Okay, so next, we’ll look at a few ways that you could think about using AI. Now, this is not exhaustive. And I’m kind of dabbling a little bit more in the lower hanging fruit side of things where I think AI already does a pretty good job.


And it’s a bit of a no brainer to start testing. So the first one, you’ll be pleased to hear, AI can help you with content briefs, they take time, they’re challenging, and there are some really good tools that use AI to help them help get them done faster and more easily. There are lots of them, but these are a few that I see circulated more often.


And they all kind of offer different ways of doing things and provide different levels of automation. The key thing to remember though, is that AI is a tool. So I know that a lot of you struggled with the brief.


Maybe don’t love doing the brief and spending hours on it. But if you don’t know how to do Have a brief or know what a good one looks like and understand what it’s doing what the point of it is, you can’t really assess whether the tool, the AI tool you’re using is doing a good job. And I still think you should always be adding a human touch.


So I’m all for using tools to speed this up. But I think we still need to bring our own thinking and perspective into that and look at, you know, what might this AI be missing? Where can I dig deeper? Is this really what the audience wants? And how can I make this unique from other content around this topic?


So I think that kind of holds for a lot of the tools is like, don’t just give everything to the machine, let it help you. But you still need to be educated on how to do this well. And honestly, there’s still a lot of big sites that are using people to create briefs, just because they want that, that expert level touching that level of care.


So I don’t think I think there’s definitely it can do some of the heavy, heavy lifting. But I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, just to turn it over to one of these tools. Okay, keyword research, this is another one that can be pretty time consuming.


Trying to figure out what set of keywords clustering keywords, what we’re where the high volume keywords are in a certain area, there are some good tools that can help you do that. These are a couple of them that I see mentioned more often.


So they are definitely worth a try. And I think they do a pretty good job, keyword clustering, again, turning a huge list of keywords into clusters. That’s something that SEOs and writers maybe still do, but typically have done manually. Just taking that big list and kind of pulling out the clusters takes a long time.


There are some tools that can do a good job of that. And these are a few of them. So again, saving time, but not really sacrificing quality. Content research, there are probably some other ones. But the one I see mentioned most often is chat GPT.


So I have used this, but and you you, you should double check any info it gives you but you can ask it to pull up say three frequently cited studies about x topic. It’s pretty good at doing things like that. So give it a try and definitely experiment with it.


I’ve also used it to summarise so if you’ve got a big research paper and you want to kind of get the gist of it in a paragraph, you can ask chat GPT to read it for you and tell you what it’s about that can be really helpful.


So there’s some areas that can help you with it could also probably tell you while I’m looking at reading, writing on this topic, what are some of the key areas that I should look at, it can get you started. Again, I would still do some of your own legwork, but it can definitely get you started up there.


Next one, creating images. So you’ve probably seen this. There are definitely lots of really good tools that can help you create images and graphs and charts and stuff. Graph maker AI is not bad. Canvas got some really good tools in there.


And it’s got some AI powered tools as well. So we’ve talked about how images can improve the quality of your content, help people stay on the page longer. Google likes to see images and charts because they make the content richer as a resource. So these are tools that you can use.


Some of them are free or have a free version. And I would definitely play around with them for creating imagery to go with your content. We’ll add one more in here, but it’s not coming through on the slides. I think I updated them and then didn’t refresh this on the computer.


But the last slide I’ve got is editing, copy and making suggestions. So we talked about some of these apps before the Hemingway app can kind of help you tighten up your copy and give you some insight into how to make it read a little cleaner. It’s it’s quite good Grammarly can do some of that as well.


And, you know, we’ll check your grammar and help you with that. So it’s like a little editorial helper. Why not? And then chat GPT can actually do a fairly good job of this. So you can put in a paragraph and say, you know, how can I make this read better? How can I shorten this, you got to kind of play around with the prompts to see what you get.


But I’ve seen Marie Haynes kind of playing with that one quite a bit, you can use it to do a little bit of editorial brush up on your content. A few other ideas for that AI, you can use AI tools for like small pieces of copy, like metadata, descriptions, alt text, etc. A few years ago, we did a huge SEO audit on a few of our sites.


And we found on one site that there was a big chunk of content that didn’t have meta descriptions. And we ended up sort of auto generating them based on the content on the page. They weren’t amazing. But, you know, it’s, it’s not necessarily feasible to go through 1000s of pages of meta descriptions.


That’s something that an AI tool could definitely do well, with the right information and structure, like write a unique meta description for every one of these 2000 or 3000 pages, add alt text to all these images. I mean, there’s some good programmes that write social media posts.


So yeah, there’s some social media posts that probably bet are better to come from a human but a lot of them are pretty repetitive, you know, we post a lot of the same kind of things, just getting the information out there.


Yeah, I can help with that. And email copy again, some email copy content marketing is really powerful when it’s well done. Some parts of it are just kind of automated, and we can probably get some help on that front.


So just a few ideas. But you got to kind of like I said, get out there and listen to what people are using look at some of the tools they’re recommending and start trying them out for yourself and see where that takes you.


And that was kind of it for today. So start testing continue to learn and just start making AI a part of your process are learning about it. Are there any questions?


Adanna Nnamani 32:32

Hello Good day


Tara Struyk 32:32

Hi Adanna


Adanna Nnamani 32:34

Yes like personally, I’ve used AI but then again, I discovered it plays kind of like a game with your creativity level because you kind of develop this dependency on it and again is not using it totally, it is not that really great.


For example I think two days ago I was trying to like refresh my brain on how to write like going to SAAS website to get article


Tara Struyk 33:16

think you’re really cutting out for me Adanna. I think we lost your audio. I think we lost your audio maybe we can get you to jump back in in a bit and when it


Tara Struyk 33:39

Yeah, we lost? Yeah, we? We didn’t get it and then we got it. Oh, really fast. And then it’s, I think we just need to let your computer catch up a little bit. Actually, I’ll ask this question though.


How many of you are using any AI tools or have used AI tools? You can even just put a hand up in the chat if you want. I’m just interested to know.


Catherine Gowon 34:02

Yes, please.


Tara Struyk 34:04

Yeah. Do you want to tell us how you’re using it, Catherine?


Catherine Gowon 34:06

Oh, sorry. Yes, I was actually somebody from the house. But I’ve used a number of AI tool And Hi Tara. I’ve been off for like three weeks Plus, I’m glad I’m back.


Tara Struyk 34:22
Me too


Catherine Gowon 34:26

So I’ve used a number AI tools. I’ve used mid journey, I’ve used it alternatively. I’ve used chat gpt. I’ve used Bing and I use Perplexity ai I really like a for research. I’ve used a lot of them from picture enhancers like Remini to everyday tools like Grammarly for chat gpt I feel like it’s repetitive.


I like Google bard as well, I like the fact that it has direct access to the internet and can pull up, a few stunts here and they majorly, what I do is I don’t use only one for my research. So I use like a combination of all four, perplexity, chat gpt, Bing and Google bard. So I put in the same prompt.


And it gives almost the same answers but with variations, you can actually pick from all those and then elaborate on it. Another thing I like it for, is that sometimes my ideas are scattered and everywhere, like LinkedIn post I put out today, I just had an overview of what it was just I crumbled them up, fed them to chat gpt and it’s organised for me.


So I took out the ones that I didn’t like, if I didn’t like the, the tone pr whatsoever, I worked on it. And then I put it back, I’m like, Okay, give me back in bullet formats and stuff like that, or maybe give me the exact emojis that I need.


It’s really good with giving you the exact emojis and stuff like that. You must not necessarily depend on it all the time, or can really make your work easier and faster. If you have the idea, it can help you organise it outside that I feel like it will give you a generic work.


Tara Struyk 36:23

Yeah, that’s great. And I mean, I think the thing around it is, it’s good to have a process, right? Is like figure out, where are you feel like it can help you? And then have a process around how you’re going to use that.


So yeah, maybe you put your LinkedIn post together, and you have one of these tools, edited or condense it for you. I mean, that’s really no different than an editor. We have human editors do that all the time.


So maybe I should be worried about my job. But, you know, no, that’s the way it is right? Like, let life technology marches on. And we have to learn to adapt to it. And I think being on top of it. And understanding is, is the key to that we can’t just sort of put our head in the sand and hope that it passes us by because it’s probably not going to work like that.


I see Asir says he’s using chat GPT Do you want to tell us about how you’re using chat GPT, Asir?


Asir Muntasir 37:21

Hi Tara am I audible?


Tara Struyk 37:22

Yeah, I can hear you. Yep.


Asir Muntasir 37:24

Mostly for coming up with titles and research

Tara Struyk 37:30

So for research. Nice. Nice. I’ve got a question. It’s Nina. What advice would you have to writers accused of using AI? If they did not do it? Yeah, I mean, um, I’ve actually had this, this happened to me, like we, we created some content for an advertiser. And the advertiser said, I don’t like this, maybe, maybe AI wrote it.


Now a writer wrote it, and I’m sure of this, although it probably could have used a little bit more. Personality, the tone was a little was pretty dry. But I think we’re gonna see that a lot when, when content just doesn’t read right to people, they’re gonna wonder, is it a bot and rightfully so?


I think the best thing that you can do to prevent that is again, to make sure that you’re doing that legwork that I mentioned, like having those sources, talking to people getting that flavour and tone of a human being right. Like, that can be humour.


That, that’s definitely that can be personal experience. Just something that is coming directly from you and is not just information kind of repackaged into your own words. That’s the best way to avoid that.


If you’re accused of it, I don’t know. I don’t know that there’s there’s a lot you can do there. So I would just kind of work towards protecting yourself from that by just improving the quality of your your content and ensuring that it has those those things that that AI is not going to be able to bring anybody else want to tell us about how they’re using AI?


Philip Maigida 39:33

I Have a question , can I speak?

Tara Struyk 39:34



Philip Maigida 39:42

My question how do you how do you prove to someone who is accussing you of using AI that your writing is actually human written. Because a lot of tools that that I used to check if the content is AI Written, you feel in a lot of ways.


Is there a tool you can help us with also are we to figure that out, i don’t know. To prove that the content is not AI Written.


Tara Struyk 40:19

um, I mean, I guess you can definitely cite all your sources and provide. And this is pretty standard in content is to provide all your sources, you know, at the bottom and the list of the people that you talk to and their content and for contact information that’s going to help people see how you went through that process.


I mean, you could even provide your your content brief. I don’t there, there are probably tools. And I feel like I’ve heard mention of tools that can attempt to detect whether contents written by AI, but I haven’t tried those myself.


And I don’t know, like, I haven’t sort of been given a I written content and told that that’s what it is, I hope that I would recognise it. I know, I would recognise content that wasn’t great. And I would, I know a lot of my writers, so I would probably recognise content that didn’t feel like it came from them.


But I think that’s something that we’re still learning, right? We’re hearing about all these sites that huge sites, like sites with big names, like, you know, maybe they don’t necessarily have the best reputation for quality in all cases.


But, you know, sites that we would assume, are hiring writers or using AI content, those, like I said, those are the ones we know about. So I think it’s just something that people are really suspicious about right now. There’s probably not a lot we can do about that.


But I think probably providing your process your sources, that people that you talk to, and making sure that you that you are talking to people, it’s going to help whoever is hiring, you believe that you wrote that content?


Because yeah, I mean, you, you’re kind of defending the writers cause here by by doing these things to it, you don’t want anyone employing you to think that you used AI, because they’re gonna think, why am I paying this person, I could just be using an AI tool to write this content myself, right.


So it’s, it’s, it is a little bit on us to prove our value. It’s kind of unfortunate, but it’s also the right direction to move, right? Like, writers need to do a good job, they need to do their due diligence, there’s a lot of content on the web, we need to be adding something of quality. So in a lot of ways, I don’t think it’s a bad, a bad thing. And it’s certainly not a bad thing, just to, you know, endeavour to become a better writer and create better content. So you know, that’s, that’s kind of the best that I can offer. I’ll maybe have a look around to see if there are tools that that try to assess whether contents AI written, I know that Google is trying to assess that, or at least they want to get a handle on what’s AI generated, but I, I don’t know, their most recent update, they said that they they are okay with content that is helpful and serves people no matter how it’s created. So I don’t know if that’s them sort of accepting that they don’t necessarily, they can’t necessarily tell who create who created the content, and they’re just looking at it from a quality perspective. As these tools get better, maybe we won’t be able to so yeah, kind of non answer, but we’re gonna say something there. Catherine?

Catherine Gowon 43:55
Yes, Ma. I wanted to ask because I’m also afraid of the possibilities with AI. Seeing the stuff that I do with it most of the times? I’m also scared that it may one day replace writers? Will it?

Tara Struyk 44:10

I think we don’t know that. I think I think what personally like I think what is most likely is that it will replace some kinds of writing. But not all right, and it’s it’s certainly can’t replace all like we looked at the piece from futurism.

It’s not going to replace journalists, we’re still going to need someone to go out and find actual stories in the world and, and be in those places and interview those people and see those things with their own eyes.


AI is already sort of scraping and regurgitating those stories that journalists write for better or for worse, but it can’t create new things. That’s why I keep hammering on expertise. I think that’s where humans are going to You keep that corner of content writing is that, you know, we have to be creating something new, we have to be leveraging expertise.


But I do think for some of these things like email copy, that just kind of I mean, there’s a lot of email copy out there that is not being written with a huge amount of vet care and expertise. If that’s working for somebody are working well enough, why not automate?


I think there’s going to be a lot of things like that. But I don’t think it’s going to take over and I also think, with this huge, just like, mountain of content that’s going to be created by by AI, I think it’s going to have to sort what’s going to have to get sorted out and filtered to the top is something better graded by people because we just don’t need more of the same.


So I think somehow human writers are going to carve out a space but yeah, it’s definitely going to going to impact the landscape. So I don’t think it will take over everything. But we do need to be aware of where it’s where its strengths are in how we can adapt when we’re in writing and content marketing.


Philip Maigida 46:20

Please can Adanna ask her question again?


Tara Struyk 46:25



Philip Maigida 46:25

Adanna, your question.

Tara Struyk 46:25

Oh, Adana, Phillip wanted Adanna, wants to give Adanna a shot, hopefully your

Philip Maigida 46:34

She was asking a question before she got cut off.

Tara Struyk 46:36

Yeah. Did you want to try? Either she can’t hear us or she said in the chat. She built a website with articles by chat GPT. I mean, a lot of people are experimenting with that I’m seeing some interesting experiments with an SEO certainly are right, like putting together websites with AI written content to varying degrees of success.


So it’s interesting to watch how that’s working. Actually, I do have a list of some examples of those. So I’ll try to pull those, I’ll try to pull those out and send them in the chat because they are pretty cool. And it helps you kind of think about where it’s probably not going to work and where it could work.


I think the LinkedIn example is an interesting one, because they kind of used used AI written content to sort of leverage human expertise. And while I think, like I said, there’s a lot of flaws there, there’s probably something to that idea.


Because of the way they’ve brought on that, that value of people and like, leverage the value of their platform, which is, you know, people in their professional expertise. So those are kind of interesting to think about. I can pull a couple of those.


Maybe a good discussion for the chat. Yes. And Nina says there’s regulation for AI in different countries. Yeah. Yeah, I think that, you know, the, the regulation is sort of behind a game, right? This, this technology was sort of like looming, but it couldn’t really do anything, too disruptive.


Right, it was still being developed. And now it’s sort of landed. And you know, the regulators are maybe scrambling to keep up. But I also don’t see. I also don’t see them necessarily catching up with that very quickly.


I mean, we see all kinds of regulation around the internet, or around social media, around privacy, all kinds of things that, like, they’re still lagging, and those have been issues for many years. So I don’t know how, how quickly they’ll catch up on this. But hey, there’s one more comment in here, where did I see or see this.


Oh, the verge article about negative side of SEO? Yeah. Well, I mean, that was an article written by a person, right. I mean, that was somebody’s perspective. And I think that’s part of the reason that it got so much. Press Right.


For those of you who don’t know, there was a verge article, kind of, I don’t know condemning SEO, I guess, in the work that they do is kind of shyster ism to drive traffic. I mean, I think historically, there’s a bit of truth to that, right.


There’s a lot of blackhat seo, there’s a lot of SEO that has driven a lot of traffic and made a lot of money. And it was not necessarily in the best interest of the user or the reader. So I don’t think it’s total bunk.


I do think it came down very hard on SEOs and especially at a time where SEOs are sort of under a lot of pressure in terms of the quality that they need to create. Stay on top of the algorithm.


So but I mean, that was someone’s opinion. Right? And it was on fire. And an opinion is a powerful thing. and it’s something that, again an AI do not really have. So I think I mean, for traffic driving, it’s a good strategy. I don’t know about the reputational effects for the verge.


And that writer probably got some really nasty email. But that’s part of being a public person and being a writer. But I think that’s actually a good example where, where it’s people and their opinions. And the conversations that they create, like, Oh, what’s that? Catherine?


Catherine Gowon 50:35

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know I’m not on mute ma. Sorry!


Tara Struyk 50:40

Oh, that’s okay. That’s okay. Sometimes your audio is all of you is a little bit fuzzy, hopefully mine is is clear. But then I’m not sure if you’re asking a question or if I’m just hearing some noise. Anyway, so that’s what I’d say about the verge article is that there’s nothing wrong with provoking people with writing.


I mean, do it mindfully and know that you’re going to do it, but I have to believe that that writer, at least in a publication, at least partly knew that that was going to start a firestorm? Right.


I mean, SEO is a big industry, that’s a very strong opinion and allegation made about against a huge group of people that are very diverse in the way that they tackle things and the way they approach their career.


And it started a huge conversation. And honestly, like, a conversation worth having, you’ve got an article, you’ve got all the follow up, you know, social media action, all the follow up articles, I think that’s kind of like, a powerful part of the internet is these kinds of conversations.


So I don’t know if they did that as a strategy, or, you know, they just, they had this, this powerful piece, and they decided to go with it, you never know, really 100% how these things are going to land and how people respond.


But I, I think it’s, I think a publication should publish things that that are thought provoking and start conversation, whether it’s positive or negative. And probably a lot of people agreed with that.


Right. I’m in the SEO community. So I see people, you know, their negative reaction to that, but there are probably there’s probably a whole other side of people that I’m not connected to that 100% agreed with that opinion. So that’s kind of my two cents.


Okay, are there any more questions? Okay. Writers reputation generally isn’t authority? Yeah, I mean, I don’t think having a bad like having negative reaction to your content is going to affect your reputation.


I think it’s more, I think, actually having conversation around your content is probably a positive thing, right? I can’t remember if there were like allegations of misinformation, or if it was just the opinion that people were against, I mean, I guess if your content is inaccurate, that’s probably going to follow you negative negatively at some point.


But yeah, having a strong opinion, and having a strong reaction is actually, I think, a positive thing as a writer, as long as you have your facts, right. All right. Good, good discussion. I think AI is such an interesting one.


And I, I personally, you know, I still have a lot to learn. But yeah, we can link that article from The Verge. I can like the one from Sports Illustrated. And I’ll pull off the top of my head, I can think of at least two examples of content sites that people are playing with it or AI generated.


So I will pop those in there too. So you can have a look, see what you think. You know, put them in SEMrush. See how they’re performing. Kind of interesting, too. And, yeah, we’ve only got, I think two classes left. I’m going to talk about portfolios and sort of applying for jobs and that sort of thing.


I think that’ll be an important one, if anyone, so that’ll be one class. And if anyone has any suggestions around something that I haven’t covered, or that you really want to see covered. Just send it to me an email or slack.


And I will try to include that. And I’m also still working through everybody’s assignments. So just bear with me. I want to do on the second pass a kind of more thorough look. So it’s going to take a bit of time for me to get through that. But I will get through that in the next week. All right.


Yes, that’s it for this week. Feel free to send me a Slack message or an email if you have any questions. I’ve gotten a few. Sometimes it takes me a few days because for some reason, the notification doesn’t always come through but I’m trying to check it every few days. So hopefully, I’ll hear from you they’re in otherwise I will see everybody next week.