It seems that every freelancer’s fear is that generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard, and others like it would commoditize copywriting and content writing.
At the height of the AI excitement, industry-wide layoffs were staggering as businesses assumed that they could save money by not paying writers, and generate revenue with mass-generated content.
Turns out, cutting corners and taking the easy way out doesn’t work (and who’s surprised, really?).
Now, marketers and business owners are frantically scrambling to undo the damage they’ve done to their reputations, their brand voice, and their search engine optimization all at once.
And that means crawling back to their previous writers and asking them to ‘fix” their GPT-generated content.
If you’re on the receiving end of the “Help! I fired my writer and tried to use artificial intelligence to do a job that is literally the foundation of my business and it didn’t work!”, then this is for you:
If you’re NOT using generative AI to write content or copy, it’s time to raise your prices.
How ChatGPT Actually De-Commoditized Copy and Content Writing
Here’s the thing: ChatGPT was never meant to replace writers. When used correctly, it can be an assistive tool, but it’s not supposed to actually be doing the heavy lifting.
And if you’re a writer that’s worth your salt, you’re not using it to generate ANY content for you at all. After all, your clients are probably not paying you to plug prompts into ChatGPT: they’re paying you to write.
Because hundreds of thousands of people are misusing AI and not using it for what it is–a tool–ChatGPT and its cohort of generative writing robots have actually de-commoditized content and copywriters.
Generative AI Is (and Yes, I’m Serious) Plagiarism
When you use generative AI to write content, you’re not the one writing the content, as many AI-enthusiasts would like to believe. Plugging prompts into AI and copy/pasting what it generates is plagiarism.
And even if you don’t fully believe that AI is plagiarism, the ramifications go deeper than that:
Imagine: 100 businesses are writing an article on the same topic. If every business is using generative AI to create their article, it’s going to start regurgitating increasingly similar content. No matter how much you’ve finely tuned your prompts, if everyone’s pulling out of the same “bank,” there’s only so many different ways to spin the same information.
And if you come across an article that’s nearly identical to yours? Well, you can’t necessarily claim they’ve plagiarized your article and ask them to take it down if you didn’t write it. You can’t claim ownership of it, because it isn’t your intellectual property.
ChatGPT Content Writing SOUNDS Like It Was Written With an Algorithm
Even if you try to make your generative AI content writing as unique as possible, it’s still detectable as AI–and not just by those AI detection tools.
You could tell ChatGPT to write an article about brushing your teeth in the voice of Morgan Freeman and readers (and search engines, but we’ll get to that later) would still be able to tell that it was written by AI.
And the more common it is to use AI to generate written content, the more obvious it will become as people begin to recognize how algorithm-created content sounds.
Because as “human” as these language models can sound, they’re able to do so because of how they’re programmed. AI content sounds formulaic–because it is.
And for those that argue “well I can just edit the content to have my own spin!” You’d have to do so much editing that you’d basically be rewriting the piece, so why not just do it right the first time? (And even if you edit it: re-read that part about plagiarism).
AI-Generated Content Writing Lacks Insight
Generative AI spits out only what it’s programmed to do. It may be able to sum up other content or even create entirely new sentences as it assesses other content, but it’s called artificial intelligence because it’s just that: artificial.
AI language models are repetitive and predictable, and they aren’t adding anything NEW. Content that lacks insight isn’t going to attract any traffic, and it’s not going to convince search engines that the website where it’s published is relevant enough to rank.
What’s Next for Content Writing With the Rise of AI?
With the possibly millions of AI-generated articles online, four things are bound to happen (and you can quote me on this)
- A new Google algorithm update is going to destroy websites using AI. Google’s goal has always been to provide the most relevant, pertinent, results to its users. And their history of algorithm updates that prioritize useful content show that. ChatGPT–and even their own Bard–isn’t going to change that.
If engineers are smart enough to create a program that can generate content, Google’s engineers are arguably smart enough to create an algorithm that will detect it. Search engines want their users to trust them. Which bring us to:
- People are going to begin to recognize AI-generated content, and not trust it. As Ai language models become more prevalent, people are starting to recognize the kind of content it creates: even when the content has been edited and the prompts have been refined. Even as generative AI tools get “smarter” and sound even more human, the results will always have a formulaic undertone: because it is a formula.
- Brands that DON’T rely on generative AI are going to see huge returns. Not every business is using AI tools to create content. In fact, a lot of businesses are wary of AI and hiring writers to create insight-driven, human-centered copy and content as a way to “future-proof” their websites.
- “REAL” content writers are going to charge top dollar–and get it. Skilled writers–the kind that understand the nuances of marketing, consumer psychology, search engine optimization, and you know, actual writing– are going to be more sought-after once the ramifications of generative AI become clear. And those writers are going to be able to charge a premium.
So if you’re a copywriter or content specialist, it’s time to take that course, brush up on your skills and learn new ones, because you’re about to be your own digital goldmine.
Generative AI Has Made Human Content Writers More In-Demand
Sure, technology is cool, and every industry will always have something new to contend with. But writing is one of those industries that’s very human-centric and depends on connection, trust, and insight: Three things that can never be emulated by AI, no matter how advanced it becomes.
As a copywriter or content writer, your skills are more valuable now than ever before, and generative AI is truly putting the importance of writers center stage.
So, if you’re not using an AI language model to spit out regurgitated, bland, repetitive, insight-devoid content, it’s unequivocally time for a price increase.