How to Craft Content That Goes Beyond the Surface

by | Jun 12, 2023 | Business, writing

When we think of AI as a threat, we often picture Arnold Schwarzenegger hunting for Sarah Connor in the classic movie The Terminator. While we aren’t there yet, we are starting to see how AI’s reach can directly impact the way individuals around the world earn their money and express themselves creatively. In Hollywood, writers’ strikes continue as hardworking individuals see their positions threatened.

For content writers at any level (including myself), the use of AI technology to create content has not necessarily been welcomed with open arms. This advanced technology isn’t going anywhere, which means content writers need to make a shift. Generic, surface-level writing is not enough to compete with the current noise. For content writers to continue to demonstrate that the human touch is the best touch, content needs to be in-depth, authentic, and specific.

The Deception of AI

Generative AI can create humanlike text, audio, and images on demand through various programs such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, and Bard. Even before this technology, it was easy for trolls and crafty individuals to create fake content that could dupe hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Generative AI can be used to create essentially anything, from videos of high-ranking politicians or celebrities going on career-damaging rants to scandalous photographs or falsified academic essays and legal documents.

While these are serious, potentially damaging moments, there are undertones of worry when it comes to individuals in the creative space. Writers wonder if companies will still support artists when AI can recreate their work for free, if authors will still have followers when their content and writing style can be replicated freely on the internet, and if businesses will hire writers to create content when they can just put keywords in ChatGPT. Generative AI is already creating a serious stir across several industries. Writers are in an especially vulnerable place, leading to the need to make some serious changes.

In-Depth Content

In-depth content combats any risks of misinformation, which in turn provides a clear distinction between true, authentic information versus surface-level content. Due to social media, influencers, and AI-generated content, the internet is flooded with low-quality content that is often superficial at best. For content writers, one of the most successful ways to overcome the shift caused by AI is to create content that is accurate and in-depth. Tips for creating in-depth content include:

  • Consider your sources. It is beneficial to remember that the reader expects you to be a trusted authority on the topic. You should be confident that you trust your sources for information. You should be able to find corroborating evidence on any given topic before sharing it with others.
  • Consider your knowledge. Before writing, ask yourself if you are confident in your own understanding of those sources. As a trusted authority, you have to be mindful of changing or misrepresenting the information you use for your own writing. Performing your due diligence is a great foundation for trustworthy, in-depth content.
  • Be authentic. Readers connect best to writing that provides a clear voice. As a writer, you want to be genuine to yourself. Find your voice and tone, and keep it consistent.

Content should be factual and free from bias. It is way too easy to spread misinformation or create content that has no substance. When trying to rise above the current noise created by AI-generated content, in-depth, authentic, conversation-sparking content is a must.

Authenticity

Content writers need to focus on authenticity. The ability to write in an authentic way is key to establishing and reinforcing trust. Individuals seeking information online need to be able to trust that what they are reading is real. There are a few different ways that content writers can reinforce authenticity in their writing. One way is historical authenticity. This involves ensuring that all information shared is accurate when it comes to time, place, and persons involved. Categorical authenticity plays out when individuals receive what they’ve been led to expect. Odds are you’ve had an “authentic” experience, such as going to a well-known Mexican restaurant. While behind the scenes, it may not be as authentic as you would believe—perhaps its ingredients come off the same delivery truck as the pub next door—as long as the experience is what you’d expect, it feels authentic. There is also an authenticity that comes from values and beliefs.

Authenticity often comes from the hard work and original thinking that goes into a product, service, or piece of writing. Even if technology is used as a tool, it is still the human hand and mind doing the creation. With generative AI, this is no longer necessarily the case. This AI technology is essentially designed to produce material that looks like the real thing, creating a false sense of categorical authenticity

For content writers to survive, we can’t just make it seem like the real thing—it has to be the real thing.

Specificity

Content writers can create unique content through the use of precise word choice that provides specifics. It is the difference between creating a beautiful painting of a detailed forest scene or drawing a stick figure next to an equally unimpressive stick tree. Both technically provide the same concept at the surface, but one is more likely to capture an audience and hold their attention. Writing is much like painting when it comes to carefully utilizing small details to create a larger work of art. When creating content, consider what details your reader wants. Specifics can answer questions such as who, what, why, where, when, and how. When creating in-depth content, you want to provide specific details that support your main focus, but you also want to make sure you aren’t overwhelming your reader. The ability to be specific and make every word count is what will set the modern writer apart from AI-generated content.

Better Content Matters: Embracing the Human Voice

The human voice in written content is still necessary. Businesses will continue to benefit from using human-created content when considering their search engine optimization. What a quality content writer can bring to the table simply can’t be recreated by AI. To ensure that human content remains the preferred content, writers have to be willing to embrace tried and true methods of success. Content writers need to focus on the basics, ensuring their writing is in-depth, specific, and always authentic.

AI-generated content is forcing individuals, educational institutes, and professional industries to question the way they deliver their content. AI may be able to produce generic, surface-level content, but quality content is intended to deliver much more for a reader. If you’re looking for creative, uniquely-tailored content for your website, contact the professionals at Better Content Matters. 

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Rebecca Flitton