The original title for this blog post about ChatGPT and what it does and doesn’t mean for your content was: ChatGPT, Your Content, and Me. But well, I didn’t want to get super personal from the start.
I decided to save this for the fourth paragraph…
Everyone, including you, Google, and your readers wants personalized content. Everyone wants to feel like they’re being heard and listened to. This is what really good words can do for you.
As the lead content wizard/specialist at Know Agency, I’m all about the words and making sure they do the things you need to them do (and a few unexpected things, because surprises are fun.) Plain and simple – good words work.
I know you’re thinking – yep, great, I know this – I know how important it is for my content to connect with my readers, for it to communicate my brand, and how it needs to keep Google happy by ticking all the content quality boxes – but what about ChatGPT?
Well, this is exactly where ChatGPT comes in…
I’ll admit to being a bit freaked out about ChatGPT – okay, a lot freaked out. Just like you, I read all the articles. And here’s the conversation I was having deep inside my brain, about ChatGPT…
Great. Just great. Now what will I do? My talent is words. And now there’s thing called ChatGPT that can do this in like 5 seconds? Really?
Yeah, I was stressed. The thing is I care about words. Words are my thing. Writing is what I do. It’s in me. I have to do it every single day. It’s how I express myself. Using good words is how I give back – helping people and companies express themselves.
And then, I started using ChatGPT… And here is what I learned, and what I want you to know about ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a Tool
Let me repeat this: ChatGPT is a tool. That’s it. It doesn’t replace me. It might replace other writers and creatives. But it can’t and will not replace me. Why? Because I’m that good. I do the things that tools can’t do.
Yes. Ego. I don’t have a big ego, but I do know one thing – I’m really good at words. Chances are very high you’ve read a lot of my words and didn’t know it. This is because I, like other really excellent writers can shape shift and become someone else once our fingers start tapping the keyboard.
Good writers, like me can flip a switch and become someone or something else on the page. This is what it takes to be a good writer – a person who writes content that connects, feels, communicates, listens, cares, and converts.
Okay, sorry, enough about me… back to ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a tool – this is it. And I have Mark Schaefer to thank this for this revelation.
Mark writes in his blog that ultimately, ChatGPT as a tool is a good thing. Mark uses a few examples that I’m putting my own spin on…
Think of the calculator, it didn’t replace mathematicians, people still study math at university – but what it did do is give everyone the ability to do basic math. It levelled the playing field.
Think of digital music production. Here is what Mark says about this:
Within a year of the advent of digital music production, half of all professional musicians lost their jobs.
“People claim this AI development isn’t like that,” he said. “No, it’s EXACTLY like that. This will replace a lot of content creator jobs.”
But there’s also a lesson about personal survival here.
In Shelly’s example, the “commodity” studio musicians lost their jobs. But the most-respected songwriters, producers, and technicians thrived. So did the elite musicians whose improvisational talent and technical acuity were always in demand.
If you’re providing “information” in your job, you will probably be replaced. If you’re providing valuable “insight” and improvisation like those star musicians, you’ll still have a bright future.
Boom! There it is. Insight wins. Original thinking wins. Thought leadership wins.
The writers who are simply repeating the facts and not saying anything new – well they are like the commodity studio musicians.
But the writers who can do it like Taylor, Adele, Céline, Paul, Mick, or Tracy – well we’re going to be here for a really long time – doing our thing.
Writing words that go beyond the black and white. Communicating and connecting in a way that leaves a deep impression. Making the complicated and the downright intimidating feel attainable. Good words do this.
How I’m Using ChatGPT to Do My Job Better
I’m not very good at math. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m terrible at math. I even failed algebra for two semesters in grade 9. Yeah, I’m that bad. Thank goodness for the calculator (and a husband with a Bachelor of Mathematics).
And this is exactly why I’ve stopped panicking about ChatGPT. This is why I’m seeing ChatGPT with my eyes open. It’s tempting to stick my head in the sand and pretend it’s not out there. And yes, I know a lot of professional writers who are doing this – I really hope they’re not writing for you…
I know I’m a good writer. Actually, let’s just face facts – I’m a great writer. And ChatGPT can help me reach that next level. Hint: you really want me to reach that next level – because it means greater and better things for your brand and your company.
So here is how I’m using ChatGPT to help me write content:
- Breaking through writer’s block: yes, even people like me who do this every single day get stuck. Some days the ideas just don’t happen. My fingers hover over the keyboard and absolutely nothing happens.ChatGPT can help me get my brain churning and the creative juices flowing. When I’m stuck and can’t get started writing a blog, I ask ChatGPT for blog title ideas or to draft an outline. I typically don’t use what it gives me, but now I’m on the way and my brain is ticking over and finding what it needs.
- Understanding complicated subject matter: I’m lucky at Know Agency, I get to write about a diverse group of topics.In one week, I’ll write about prenatal supplements (hint, I’ve never been pregnant and I’m not a parent), autonomous mobile robots (hint, I’m not an engineer), cryogenic transportation (hint, I don’t have a background in biopharmaceuticals), and visual merchandising (hint, I’m not much of a shopper).
ChatGPT helps me research subjects, discover new perspectives on topics, find new sources from websites I don’t know about, and explains complicated topics in plain language so I can really understand what I’m writing about.
Now, all of this comes with a caveat – ChatGPT cannot be 100% trusted to always tell the truth. So, I use ChatGPT’s research as a jumping off point to help me streamline my research and help me learn more quickly.
- Feedback on my words: it always helps to get an outside perspective on the content I’m writing. Some days I think I’ve really hit the mark with a blog, and then it turns out the client doesn’t like it, or I haven’t quite got the tone and brand voice just right. (I’m only human after all.)
ChatGPT can help me by checking my work and comparing it to already published content and giving me quick feedback on it. This is of course not a replacement for my Know Agency colleagues and their feedback, but it helps me out, and can speed up the review and editing process.
The more I use ChatGPT and get comfortable with it, I expect it to become another tool that I use in my day-to-day.
Just as I use SEMrush, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Google Search to help me research, edit, and write, ChatGPT is another tool that can help me do my thing with words.
Moving Forward with ChatGPT
You have likely read articles from other writers who are using ChatGPT to write social media posts, landing pages, page titles and headlines, newsletters, emails, and entire blog posts. This is going to happen.
There will be people who simply hand their jobs over to ChatGPT (without telling you they’re doing it).
I’m not one of these people. First of all, Jane and Kevin would fire me (and well, after 14 years working with Jane, I don’t want this relationship to end anytime soon). And most importantly, writing is what I do.
ChatGPT can’t do what I do. But it can help me better at what I do. This is a win-win for you and me.
Curious about ChatGPT and how you can use it? Email me.
And if you have specific questions about ChatGPT and SEO and digital marketing, email Jane, she is your person for this.
About the author
Vicki Thomas has over 25 years of professional writing experience and a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. After a 15-year career as a technical writer, Vicki transitioned to content marketing. She has worked with Jane since 2009, using her professional research, writing, and editing skills to help clients connect and communicate with readers. Vicki’s experience with Google Search, SEO, and research skills positions her as highly skilled at identifying information gaps and writing content that people want to read and share.