The Case for Human Blog Content Writing Services in the Age of AI17 min read

by Mar 16, 2023SEO

woman writing on a laptop

If you’re a small to medium-sized business in a niche industry looking for content writing services, chances are you’ve considered using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to write blogs. And you’re not alone—AI has been used to write everything from science fiction stories to poems to emotionally manipulative conversations with a New York Times reporter. The possibilities, it would seem, are endless. So why not use AI to write company blogs?

Before you dismiss human-powered content services, let’s explore the technology AI uses to write. You might find that human writers are the best investment for your company after all.

What Is AI and How Does Using AI to Write Blog Posts Work?

AI chatbots are content generators. They rely on existing writing samples, prompts, and a sophisticated algorithm to produce content. There are different kinds of AI bots, but in general they work like this:

  • AI bots crawl text, analyzing it for vocabulary and style. Most bots just pull from what’s available online, but specific bot tools (like a poetry generator, for example) can draw on a limited catalog of samples.
  • The bot then uses a complex algorithm to organize and “understand” the information it’s just crawled. What is the average word count? What topics does this content cover? What vocabulary do these pages use? What facts? The bot notes it all.
  • The bot then produces a piece of content as output and then it’s up to the user to edit, check facts, modify, draw inspiration from, or scrap completely.

As such, AI bots can generate long-form blog content in just a few seconds. The glaring challenge with this tactic is AI content is limited to the information that’s already on the internet. So, if you’re a small, niche business and there’s limited information about your industry online, AI won’t be able to reliably produce content for you.

Two additional challenges arise when it comes to optimizing this content for search (also called search engine optimization, or SEO). The first is simple. AI is predictive. A bot can make the same choice for you as it does others writing about the same topic. A related danger is AI’s lack of discernment when drawing from copyrighted sources. Perhaps one day, bots will be able to avoid repetitive outputs and stealing intellectual property. But for companies trying to stand out from the crowd today, predictive, repetitive, or stolen content is not good for your business.

The second issue is serious: Google has stated time and again that their priority is connecting people with human, helpful content—not spam. Over the years, Google has become incredibly adept at not only detecting scammy SEO tactics but extensive, machine-generated content as well. Previously, Google took a hard no-AI stance when it came to web copy. Now, their policies are softening and users are urged to proceed with caution. To rank, content must be human and helpful, no matter how it’s produced. Despite this update, AI is still an unreliable tactic. AI’s inability to produce in-depth content, and turbulent Google guidance on the topic means artificially-produced pages still risk being ranked lower in Google’s search algorithm than human-generated content.

website design review with client

If you’re a small to midsize business looking for intuitive solutions, this might seem like unfair punishment. But consider this scenario: A new competitor enters the market, reselling someone else’s product and encroaching on your space as a custom manufacturer. They use AI to generate blog after blog in an attempt to usurp your web rankings. After a few months, they’re out-pacing your website’s performance despite having less industry experience and an inferior product.

However, because Google’s current algorithm does not prioritize AI content, your website’s presence and reputation remain protected. A content strategy driven by real-life humans is your best investment in the long run.

Three Advantages to Human Blog Content Writers

As people, the DVS team is biased toward human writers. But from a practical standpoint, there are distinct advantages to working with a team of writers and content strategists.

1. We Know Your Niche Industry

Despite being able to read literal encyclopedias online, niche industry information can be difficult to come by if you rely only on information available on the internet. Time and again, we meet passionate professionals who are effectively the keepers of industry knowledge. Internet articles pale in comparison to their years of experience and expertise.

The value in a human writer is that we can do what a chatbot can’t: get to know you, your industry, and your offerings inside and out. We take time to understand the subject matter so we can articulate your unique value proposition and craft persuasive messaging. And because we know your company well, we can customize content to speak to your audience’s needs.

2. We Use Persuasive, Stylistic Language

AI bots have made astounding advancements, but are still limited when using stylized language. Do you have unique company lingo? Do you rely on metaphors or figurative language to describe your offerings? Did you pioneer a groundbreaking product or service? Or do you need to speak carefully about certain delicate topics? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need a human writer.

AI is able to replicate writing style without understanding it. What appears to be nuance is actually clever math and predictive language models.. Human writers know how to uphold your brand voice and tone, speak to your ideal audience, and use figurative language that can be tough for a computer.

Here’s an anecdote from DVS Content Specialist, Mary:

“Every week, I get an email from Grammarly with a list of statistics about the content I wrote in the last week. Every time, it says I use more ‘unique’ words than 98% of Grammarly users because of all the niche industries and businesses we write for at DVS.”

3. We Write With Context in Mind (UX Writing)

As we’ve written about before, a great user experience (UX) is an important part of any content strategy. In digital marketing, UX refers to how users interact with your website and its content. When we do our jobs well, you don’t even notice how effortlessly you glide through a webpage, moving from section to section with ease. Transitions between subjects are logical. Headings are clear and skimmable. You find what you’re looking for and leave having had a good experience.

This was not a happy accident, but the result of careful planning.

Our skilled team of writers and designers work together to create intuitive pages that are easy to read. And because we take the time to get to know your ideal customer and their pain points, everything we write is, by nature, designed to address their concerns.

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There very well might come a day when chatbots can fine-tune their outputs by context. Until that day arrives, a real life content team is your best option for tailored content.

AI Has its Place in Digital Marketing, but it’s Behind the Scenes (for Now)

Using AI to write blogs might not be the best choice for your niche business, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help at all. AI predictions are tremendously helpful for things like research, optimization, and reporting. AI tools make developing effective PPC campaigns a breeze. And we use AI to research keywords for every article we write! The difference is, we have strict parameters for how we use that data to make our clients’ unique offerings shine.

If you’re curious about how we use AI, just ask. We’d love to walk you through the process and show you ways we can make AI work for you and your small business. From content writing to paid ads, and everything in between, DVS is happy to help. Ready to get started? Drop us a line or give us a call at 616.975.9911. We look forward to hearing from you!