How to Write a Blog Post Better than ChatGPT
In case you hadn’t noticed (!), the whole world has gone crazy about ChatGPT.
ChatGPT content creation is probably one of the most talked about topics on many a LinkedIn feed, but it’s easier said than done.
Despite the hundreds of posts and articles about “how to use ChatGPT for [insert absolutely anything]”, AI writing tools simply can’t do what humans can. Not yet, at least. ChatGPT can copy the style of Shakespeare, but it can’t write it.
“[ChatGPT] could perhaps in time create a song that is, on the surface, indistinguishable from an original, but it will always be a replication, a kind of burlesque. Songs arise out of suffering, by which I mean they are predicated upon the complex, internal human struggle of creation and, well, as far as I know, algorithms don’t feel. Data doesn’t suffer.
ChatGPT has no inner being, it has been nowhere, it has endured nothing, it has not had the audacity to reach beyond its limitations, and hence it doesn’t have the capacity for a shared transcendent experience, as it has no limitations from which to transcend.”
What Does ChatGPT Say About How to Write a Blog Post?
There is no straight line from ‘idea’ to ‘finished blog post’. Writing can be hard. And messy. So how does ChatGPT tell you to do it?
We went straight to the source with a simple prompt:
“Write a blog post about how to research and write a blog post”.
Here is the outline suggested by ChatGPT:
Title: How to Research and Write an Engaging Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide
Introduction: Writing a compelling blog post involves more than just putting words on paper; it requires a well-structured process of research, planning, and creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or a newcomer to the world of content creation, mastering the art of researching and writing a blog post can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of your content. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step process to research and write a blog post that captivates your audience and leaves a lasting impact.
- Step 1: Define Your Target Audience and Topic
- Step 2: Conduct In-Depth Research
- Step 3: Craft a Captivating Introduction
- Step 4: Outline Your Blog Post
- Step 5: Craft Engaging and Informative Content
- Step 6: Incorporate Visuals and Multimedia
- Step 7: Craft a Strong Conclusion
- Step 8: Proofread and Edit
- Step 9: Optimize for SEO
- Step 10: Publish and Promote
Conclusion: Researching and writing an engaging blog post requires time, effort, and a systematic approach. By defining your target audience, conducting in-depth research, and crafting well-structured content, you can create blog posts that resonate with your readers and establish your authority in your niche. Remember to optimize for SEO and promote your posts to reach a wider audience. With consistent practice, your blogging skills will improve, and your content will become a valuable resource for your readers. Happy blogging!
ChatGPT’s suggestion ticks all the boxes and covers all the bases. It makes sense. “On the surface”, as Nick Cave says, it seems fine.
But does it describe how to write a blog post?
Let’s not downplay the steps recommended by ChatGPT, such as defining your target audience and creating a blog outline. These are really important. But overall, it reads like instructions from an IKEA pamphlet. ChatGPT tells you what to do, but not how to do it, not really.
How to Write a Better Blog Post
Writing a blog post is not a series of robotic steps that fit neatly into punchy sub-headings. Here are some human (not AI) tips for how to write a blog post, so you can turn out writing that’s better than ChatGPT:
Be open to topics as they arise
Perhaps a topic comes across your desk, a suggestion from the SEO manager or sales team. Or a topic pops up in your mind. It may come from a conversation with a colleague, or an interesting idea from something you saw or read. Other times an idea develops as an off-shoot from a blog post you wrote months or even years ago. Mostly, an idea comes from a mish-mash of all of these, crystallizing somehow into a coherent blog topic.
The point is that it’s hard to pinpoint the process of crafting a blog topic because there is no rule or formula. (Yes, SEO keywords are a source for topics, but those are part of the general mish-mash – keywords must be taken in a direction and fleshed out to inspire a full article. They don’t just work on their own).
Let the topic ruminate in the back of your mind
This ‘slow cooking’ can take days, weeks, or months (but of course stay mindful of the deadline!).
- Be open to thoughts about the topic that pop up randomly when driving, watching TV, cooking, or daydreaming (let your subconscious help the process along).
- Check out similar articles online, read a bit here or there, and skim a lot of information sources.
- Save useful or inspiring links, copy-paste thought-provoking paragraphs for future reference, and generally build up your mental fitness on the topic.
Don’t expect the rumination process to be methodical; it won’t be the same for every article. Also, it may be going on for multiple articles at once. Make way for serendipity to help you.
At a certain point, the article is ready to be written
When a topic has gelled in your mind into a coherent-enough narrative, give in to the impulse to get it down on the screen. You’ll know it when it happens. So, start to write!
There is no right or wrong way for how the writing process happens
You may want to start at the introduction and write the article all the way through. Other times, the body or the subheadings come first, then the conclusion, and writing the introduction comes last.
You may write the body text for a particular subheading and then realize that it is perfect for the introduction or another part of the article. Sometimes the title is the first thing on the screen, or maybe the title only surfaces when the article is already half-written and the thread of the narrative becomes clearer. Sorry, this is not very helpful as a ‘how-to’ guide, but it’s the (human!) truth.
Leave the article for a day or two (because you can’t look at it anymore)
This gives the mind time to rest so you can come back to it with fresh eyes. You can try writing the whole blog through and then come back the next day to do a heavy edit. Or, you can edit paragraphs during the writing process so you only need to do a light edit or proofread later.
At this point, it’s time to add SEO keywords that didn’t make it naturally into the text. Look for phrases that can be used as anchor text for internal links, and edit the article to include external links if there weren’t enough in the article already. And it’s done!
Yes, also lean on ChatGPT (to an extent)
ChatGPT is helpful for generating ideas and opening the mind to other avenues of thought. It’s great for creating lists of points related to a specific topic, which can be used as a base from which to flesh out the article. Think of ChatGPT as a search engine wearing a human-like mask. It is a good knowledge resource, delivered as a robotic-sounding person. But (and this is a big BUT), ChatGPT is not current and you must fact-check its responses, thoroughly.
ChatGPT Blog Writing vs. Humans: May the Best Writer Win
A century from now, who knows what new technology the whole world will be talking about? Whatever happens, when it comes to writing, I have faith that human spirit and creativity will not be superseded by AI.
As for ChatGPT’s blog outline – well, it is certainly organized and logical, and every step fits neatly into a box. The human process, not so much. As Nick Cave points out, human beings are cursed with limitations, but also the capability to transcend them.
Perhaps we can agree that ChatGPT lacks a certain feeling and nuance – all the things that make writing (and life) challenging and satisfying. Yes, the writing process is messy and hard to ‘box’ up, and no, the results you get from prompting ChatGPT cannot compare.