Benjamin Gorman is a professional copywriter, copy editor, and consultant that has over 10 years in the business and has worked with major brands such as Hotels.com and Norton Lifelock. He’s also a contributor to Matt Diggity’s Affiliate Lab and has a course of his own out now.
In today’s podcast episode, we talk to Benjamin about AI content from a writer’s perspective: How we, as SEOs, can “humanize” AI content to get it to something more acceptable rather than the generic junk that ChatGPT often spits out.
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Watch the Podcast:
[03:14] What are some common issues people face when using AI to create content for their websites?
The SEO industry is very excited about the prospect of AI. This has led to a lot of people having unrealistic expectations about the capabilities of the tool. Many overestimate the ability of AI. It’s easy to convince yourself that it has some sort of intelligence, but really the only thing it’s doing is predicting the next word based on the previous word, ultimately based on your prompt. There’s not really intelligence there, and if you keep fooling yourself into believing that there is, you’ll keep getting bad content and bad data. It’s easy to overlook factual inaccuracies, even when you edit AI content. Never value velocity over quality.
[09:49] You recently got rid of all your other writers and now use only one writer with the help of ChatGPT. Is the overall quality of the content that you’re now using higher or lower than it was before?
It’s higher now. GPT 4 produced content that was better than that of the people I hired. There is now consistency in grammar and tonal consistency.
[13:06] What do you look for when hiring an editor?
It’s tough because “AI content editor” doesn’t exist as a job yet. Nobody has years of experience in it. I’d look for someone who is also a good content writer rather than a niche expert. AI can’t adequately communicate with your target reader. The AI gives and arranges facts, but a good writer or copyeditor knows content writing best practices to engage the reader. You can find these content writers on Fiverr, Upwork, SEO Facebook Groups, and via Facebook Ads.
[19:08] How much (i.e. percentage) of AI-generated content should be edited by a human?
It depends on the topic and prompt. I tend to do a lot of edits on the content I write because my clients are high-paying with high expectations. I’d rewrite at least 50% of the content.
[22:28] What is “quality” content in Google’s eyes? What do you mean by “humanizing AI” copy?
Google wants authority, which comes from content written based on expertise of the subject matter. Quality content is content that effectively communicates with the target reader. Content is communication, so stop writing content and start communicating with the reader.
[25:47] How should AI content be edited step-by-step?
Editing AI content starts with content generation—generating an article that is easier to edit. Start with generating an outline, then a succinct copy of your article that contains only the facts in an organized form. Go through each section and fill in what’s missing. Reprompt it to include the stuff that you want in the article, section by section. Fact check what you have so far. Finally, begin the human editing portion. This entire process saves you 50% of the time it would take to create the same article from scratch as a human.
[34:22] How do you have AI do the outlines for your articles?
Just ask ChatGPT to build an outline for you. I’d recommend a humans create the outline themselves. This can prevent the article from becoming generic. You can try copy-pasting existing ranking articles on the same topic into the ChatGPT prompt and ask it to write a new article based on those articles.
[36:36] What kinds of results are you seeing through this process?
This is not a one-click solution, but as a content manager for my site, I’m saving so much time for myself. This is an easy process to teach, repeat, and evaluate, so it’s ideal when training a new writer/editor.
[39:55] How do you see the future of content with AI in the picture now?
We’ll see the issue of “content quality inflation” continue to increase. We’re seeing this new low bar being set that’s much higher than it was before because AI is delivering this baseline of content quality. A lot of people think this is a good thing, but because all of these AI tools are very affordable or free, once we all reach this baseline of content quality, many people will try to exceed it. Many people are losing their jobs now, but there will soon be an explosion of demand for editors of AI content.
[42:32] Is the human editor responsible for adding tone and voice to the article?
I actually have the editor prompt AI to achieve the tone that I want to make all of the articles uniform. AI is pretty good for setting a baseline for tone, particularly when it comes to formal versus informal and personal versus impersonal. But it can be a good thing to personalize it yourself.
[46:18] Can anyone learn how to write good prompts?
Anyone can do good prompting with normal English. It’s all about using clear, direct language. The best way to learn about prompting is to use AI to create content. Through trial and error, you’ll figure out the prompts that work best for you for the type of content you’re creating for the output that you want. I like direct prompts and short prompts. I like prompting short sections rather than an entire article to get more precision on the output. I use GPT 4 and Playground for more precision.