AI and Copywriting:
Your New Best Friend
(or Worst Enemy?)

Smiling person holding up sticky note with A.I. written on it

It’s been over a year since ChatGPT crashed onto the scene and made a huge splash in our industry.

Some writers feared it. Others embraced it.

Yet others were a bit more “meh” about it all, thinking it’d all go away.

So what’s the verdict?

AI is here to stay.

Just like the web ushered in massive opportunities for writers (like blogging, writing web copy, digital marketing, the ability to create an audience with nothing more than a free social media account, and more) …

 … we’re now in the early stages of AI doing the same. It’s no longer “just a passing fad.”

Already companies of all shapes and sizes are successfully using AI models like ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, Dall-E, and Sora, to name a few.

They’re creating high-click-thru ads, helpful articles, engaging short videos, viral social media posts, blog posts, and more.

And in case you’re wondering …

Yes, AI can be scary good.

A survey by SEMRush put the power of AI-generated content to the test.

They took 700 consumers and had them participate in six content “battles.”

In each battle, they were presented with two short pieces of content — one written entirely by a human and the other generated using AI.

The participants were not told which piece was created by AI and which was written by a human.

After reading both pieces in each battle, the consumers were asked to indicate which one they preferred reading.

AI-generated content won all six battles — defeating humans in various categories, including:

  • Social media ads
  • Blog post introductions
  • Social media posts and …
  • Product descriptions

Does This Mean It’s Over for Us Human Writers?

Short answer, no.

For starters, AI won in short content battles.

The shorter the content, generally speaking, the higher the quality of the output AI can give right out of the gate.

It still can’t write a sales letter, white paper, or email series (that’s “A-level”) without a LOT of human input.

It still can’t spot areas where a company could improve its marketing, leverage an underutilized asset, and create a new marketing strategy based on it.

And it still can’t read your mind and know exactly what you’re asking for when YOU prompt it.

(Oh, and let’s not forget that even in the content battles done by SemRush, a human had to give AI the prompt to create the AI-generated content in the first place). 😉

In fact, while we’re on this topic …

Let’s quickly dispel a few myths that surround AI and copywriting:

Myth 1: AI means you don't need to be creative.

Nope! AI is a fantastic tool for sparking inspiration. It can brainstorm with you, suggest fresh angles, and even help you get over that dreaded writer's block.

But it's still up to you, the human, to “rate” the ideas it gives you, connect them in fresh new ways, and ultimately decide what ideas to use in your copy.

Myth 2: AI will churn out bland, generic copy.

AI tools are only as good as what you feed them. If you give vague directions with your prompts or don’t understand what AI needs from you to produce great output, you’ll likely get very generic or “garbage” results.

In short, you need to understand from the ground up how you create good copy, so you can give those steps to ChatGPT or whatever AI model you decide to use.

And even once you get the output that’s pretty good, you still need to inject your (or your client’s) unique voice, add in stories or emotional anecdotes, etc.

Myth 3: Clients will just use AI and ditch human writers.

Not likely. AI still doesn’t “get” the subtle nuances of how humans think and feel. It can’t strategize or think for itself (it has to be prompted by a human).

And ironically, clients who decided to create their own copy and content with AI (and got generic results) are now posting on popular job boards — willing to pay a human writer to “humanize” the content they got from AI!

Example of job board posting for a human writer to humanize the content they got from AI

Another example of job board posting for a human writer to humanize the content they got from AI

Which means only one thing …

AI Can Be Your Best Friend as a Copywriter (and your Competitive Advantage!)

That’s because AI really can make you a better, more efficient writer.

Think of it as your new copywriting sidekick — always ready to brainstorm ideas, suggest improvements, and take your work to the next level.

Here’s how to do that:

#1: Create an “Instruction Manual” of How You Write.

Most writers are unconscious to how they can produce the work they do. They just “do it.” But if you’re going to make AI your friend, it’s critical you decipher and break down how you do what you do, step by step.

Say you need to write a sales letter — do you do research first? How do you do it? Do you write the headline next? How do you do that? Do you write the lead after? How exactly do you do that? The more granular and specific you can be, the better!

#2: Learn How to Write (and Structure) a Good Prompt.

Think of whatever AI model you choose to use as a very smart (but very “green”) writing intern. The better and more detailed your instructions, the better results you’ll get.

This is why step 1 is to get clear on YOUR process for writing well.

So, experiment with different phrasing, levels of details, and breaking up tasks into multiple steps.

#2.5: Learn how great copy and content is structured.

This is similar to #2, in that you want to learn what makes good copy and how it’s structured. For example, there are famous formulas you can start with, like AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) or PAS (problem, agitate, solution).

Start learning how the greats structure their copy, so that you then know how to tell AI what to do, and when.

#3: Get good at “chiefing” the copy AI gives you.

This is all about putting on a copy chief’s (or high-level copy editor’s) hat and seeing where the copy AI wrote for you can be improved.

Where is it lifeless or generic? How could you spice it up, or humanize it? Where could you tell an impactful story or recall an emotional experience?

Developing this skill to see your copy through an editor’s or copy chief’s eyes is half the battle when it comes to using AI to become faster (and better) as a writer.

Bonus Tip: Develop EMPATHY for your audience.

If there’s one thing AI won’t be mastering anytime soon, it’s empathy. Get good at walking a mile in your audience’s shoes. Care about them. Talk to them (in person or online). Understand their deep-down hopes, fears, and dreams.

This is the raw material that great copy (and content!) is made of … Which you can then feed into an AI model like ChatGPT to get some astonishing results.

So, is AI your best friend or worst enemy?

The answer is entirely up to you.

Sure, you can resist the change. But ultimately, that’s like refusing to communicate via email with your clients, because you’d still rather send letters through the mail.

At some point, it no longer makes sense to do things the way they were done in the past … and instead embrace the new.

I mean … did the use of computers and word processors suddenly make every writer on earth a Pulitzer prize winner?

Of course not.

But it did make the writing (and editing) process a heck of a lot easier and faster.

Same with AI.

Successful copywriters of the future won't be the ones who see AI as a threat.

They'll be the ones who harness its power to become better, faster, and more adaptable writers.

They'll use AI to handle a lot of the more tedious (and time-consuming) “grunt work” – the research, the first drafts, and even the first round of editing to make sure there aren’t typos, etc.

This frees up time and mental energy for the high-level creative work that only a human can do (and is ultimately what moves the needle in terms of results).

So that said, here’s my challenge to you:

Try one free AI copywriting tool this week. Some suggestions — ChatGPT, Claude, Jasper.AI, or Copy.AI.

Play around and experiment with prompts. Try and see if you can “deconstruct” your writing process. And then feed it as a prompt.

Don't worry about being perfect. Have fun with it.

Do that, and you might just be surprised at how quickly AI goes from feeling a little scary to being your favorite new copy sidekick.

The AWAI Method™

The AWAI Method™ for Becoming a Skilled, In-Demand Copywriter

The AWAI Method™ combines the most up-to-date strategies, insights, and teaching methods with the tried-and-true copywriting fundamentals so you can take on ANY project — not just sales letters. Learn More »

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Published: March 22, 2024

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