So I’ve been using and loving a new AI tool the last few weeks. Before I get into what the tool is and how I use it, I wanted to talk about how I am using artificial intelligence tools to help me with content creation.
First, I am different from most content creators. When you talk to most content creators who blog, they will tell you they have plenty of ideas for blog posts, but no time to write them all.
I am the exact opposite. And I always have been. I have always struggled with coming up with ideas for posts. Once I have the idea, the actual writing of the post typically takes me an hour or so. But I just cannot come up with enough post ideas to consistently post in anything resembling a consistent posting pattern. It’s one reason why I love writing Monday’s Marketing Minute: The format picks the ‘topic’ for me, and it’s much easier to write a weekly post summarizing a few news stories I have read that I feel will be relevant to share here.
A big part of my problem is I feel like if I have ever written about a topic before, then it would be repetitive to cover it again. Yes, I know how stupid that sounds to say that I can’t blog about the same topic twice on a blog that’s almost 15 years old, but that’s where my mind goes. I feel like covering the same topic twice is doing a disservice to the reader, so I try to find a new angle on each topic, a new case study, example, etc. And those don’t always readily present themselves.
So prior to a few weeks ago, I’d always struggled come up with post ideas. But all that changed when I discovered Claude. Claude is somewhat similar to ChatGPT, but where it excels is analyzing text. This is where it has been immensely helpful for me.
When I first started using Claude, I told it to analyze my website, tell me what it saw. It would point out my perceived strengths and weaknesses based on the content I was creating. Then I said go through my content, and tell me which industries I should be focusing on, based on my content, my services and my experience. And it gave me a list of several industries that were a good ‘fit’ for me, I whittled that list down to a few that I thought were the best fit for me, and that was my focus list. If you’ve been reading this blog for the last couple of weeks, you can make a good guess at what industries are on that list.
Once I had my list of industries I would be focusing my content on, I needed to drill down on the type of content I create for those industries. I went back to Claude and asked it to give me the top concerns facing decision-makers in those industries. It gave me 5 or so concerns for each industry. Some of those concerns overlapped with the type of services I offer, and some did not.
So I went back to Claude and told it to give me the top concerns for these industries BUT restrict those concerns to areas that overlap with my services. Then in seconds, Claude gave me a list of dozens of pain points that industry professionals are dealing with, that perfectly overlap with my skillsets and services.
Each pain point was a blog post idea. Prior to working with Claude, I had never planned out my editorial calendar more than a week or two in advance. In fact, if I had anything scheduled ahead of time, I felt accomplished.
Thanks to Claude, I now have my editorial calendar here full for the rest of the year. This would have been all but impossible on my own, but thanks to Claude, my content creation is set for months.
Here’s How I Am Using Claude to Create Content
So here’s where the rubber meets the road. I’ve talked about the potential perils of AI for content creators before. One of my main fears is that content creators simply let an AI tool write content for them.
And it’s insanely easy to do just that. It took Claude just seconds to give me dozens of post ideas. For each post idea, all I have to do is ask Claude to write me a post on that topic, and it will spit out the post in seconds.
Of course the potential problems with this approach are obvious. You lose any sense of ‘your voice’ in your content. Your content could be inaccurate, believe it or not all AI tools commonly used today are quite prone to sharing false information (called ‘hallucinations’). And it’s simply not very ethical at all to pass off the work of an AI tool as being your content.
My stance has always been that you shouldn’t view AI tools as the content creator for you, but rather the content editor. Here’s an example:
For this post on the technology industry, I asked Claude to give me a 1,000 word post on the topic. Which it did in seconds. I then used the post that Claude gave me as the outline for the post I would eventually write. Instead of publishing the post as Claude gave it to me, I basically stripped all its guts out and rebuilt it from the ground up. I did keep the structure of the post more or less in tact. But almost all of the content ended up being changed.
The post that Claude gave me was around 900 words. The finished post I published was 2,500 words. And I ended up removing at least half of the words that Claude gave me. And the few sentences I did keep were left alone because I read it and thought “Ok that’s similar to what I would have said here anyway.”
But what Claude gave me was the structure for the post. That was immensely helpful to me. I learn by observing, if you give me an example of how something works, I can quickly understand it. By writing a post for me, Claude helps me easily see the type of post I want to write. If I had started out on my own to write the same post without Claude, and only had the post topic, I could have done it, but it would have taken much longer. And I’m not sure the content itself would have been any better. It might have been worse.
So How Does Claude Compare to Other AI Tools Like ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is the AI tool that most people are familiar with if they have been using any AI tools. I have been using it a lot this year, and while I do still use it and find it useful, I prefer Claude’s ability to analyze text. Especially large amounts of text, I believe Claude’s current version can analyze up to 100,000 words of text at a time.
ChatGPT I use more in a ‘conversational’ way to help me work out ideas in my head. It helps with ideation for me. And I still use it regularly for that purpose.
Bard. Bless its heart, but Bard is just bad. So I was writing a post on loyalty programs with Claude, but I decided to do some research with Bard for the post. I asked Bard to give me the average ROI for a loyalty program. Bard told me it was 25-30%. That figure sounded impossibly high, so I asked for a source. Which Bard said it couldn’t give me. I kept asking in different ways and Bard finally admitted that it made up that 25-30% figure for the ROI of loyalty programs. Bard said the REAL figure is 10.4%. I said great, what’s the source for that figure, and Bard cited a 2022 study from the Aberdeen Group. I googled it, and sure enough, that study doesn’t exist.
Bard is from Google, but Google also purchased a 10% stake in the company behind Claude earlier this year. I suspect we will see a massive upgrade to Bard soon, I mean it’s so bad now we almost have to. And since Google is now investing in Anthropic, the company behind Claude, I have to wonder if some of the same technology that powers Claude might find its way to Bard in some form.
So my advice for content creators when it comes to AI remains the same: Learn how to use these tools but use them for ideation and editing of your content, not for content creation.