5 steps for optimising your blog and news article writing using AI tools
From ChatGPT to Grammarly and even Canva, there is an AI tool claiming to be able to write everything from blogs and social media posts to complete websites.
Initially, there was a real fear from content creators that AI would 'take over the world' and that all content would be created from a mere prompt.
But let's face it, when was the last time emotion, personality and brand voice came from anything other than a person? It's just not possible.
So as content creators take a sigh of relief, AI becomes a tool like many others that change, shape and support our lives and writing for the web or crafting a beautifully pitched and eloquently presented blog is the same.
We will explore easy steps to enhance your online writing skills and how incorporating AI technology can be a time-saving solution.
Tips to enhance your online writing skills
One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and deliver relevant and valuable content to your target audience is through the consistent publication of blogs or news articles on your website.
Not only can publishing regular blogs or news articles help you to develop and strengthen your relationships with customers, but it can also help you to establish yourself as an industry leader; blogs create opportunities for sharing, which in turn helps to increase your brand awareness.
Adding frequent content to your website can also provide your website with a boost in terms of search engine optimisation.
Producing your first post may feel daunting, but we're here to help you write a blog post or news article for your website in five simple steps.
Step 1: Decide what you want to write about
If you have a lot of topics in mind, fantastic - make sure you write them down, keep a notebook on the side of your bed, whatever you need to do to remember those ideas - there's nothing worse than forgetting a really good blog!
If you can't think of what to write, then allow us to help your creativity flow:
- Community and clients. Consider your community and clients. Ask your customers what they need help with and where their pain points lie. Understanding your customer here is key, and it may seem simple, but you'll be surprised how many businesses need help understanding who they're trying to speak with. Once you understand what they need, then you'll find that the ideas floodgates will open.
- Industry. Think about your industry or field of interest. Has there been any relevant news or updates that have been recently published? Is there something new you've learnt that was difficult to solve? If there has been, then write about it with a comment on how this could impact your business, community or clients.
- Your business/community. Your business or community has a wealth of stories crying out to be told. What are you working on? Are any big milestones upcoming or something happening in the local community? What about highlighting some of the people that are key to your story? You could also take a more analytical approach to your story and turn it into a case study.
- Asking colleagues and supporters for ideas. Remember, not all ideas have to come from you. Talk to others and see where their passions lie. You may have a whole raft of guest bloggers just waiting in the wings.
Step 2: Start with a headline
Now you've got a collection of ideas; it's time to start crafting the perfect headline.
The title of your blog post is more than just an opportunity to grab your audience's attention; it's also a critical part of getting your content seen by search engines.
By writing a headline before you get stuck in, you will have a map to follow and stick to through your writing.
If you write your blog before the headline, you may find yourself meandering off-topic and ending up at a completely different destination from the one you originally intended. Your headline is essentially a virtual guide map that will help to set your readers' expectations for what they'll read.
When thinking of a compelling headline, it may be tempting to use clickbait tactics, but it may completely put your audience off reading. Instead, focus on benefit-driven phrasing, powerful verbs and numbers that speak impact.
If you're not 100% sure about your headline, use it as a working title and adjust it as your post gains more clarity.
Step 3: Get creative and start writing
Once you've established the point of your blog, you can then think about the structure and what it needs to say. You can do this using AI or under your own steam.
How to use AI to generate content
Using an AI portal, much of the thinking can be done for you. What you will need to think about are the prompts that you're going to give the software to generate meaningful content. It may take a few goes to understand how this best works for you but keep at it, as it really can save you time.
What AI prompts do you use to create a blog?
If you are writing a standard-length blog, then the following should work:
- Add the title or what the blog is about
- Specify how many words you want it to be
- Define what tone you want it to be written in (formal, fun, businesslike, authoritative etc.)
- Specify to split it into headings
- Ask it to reference any areas in particular of interest
- Hit create, and you will magically see a blog appear before your eyes.
AI-generated content is, as we have said before, highly flawed, so the key here is to take the headings and the rest with a pinch of salt, but it is great, particularly when you're having one of those days where you're finding it difficult to find the right words.
Writing content the old-fashioned way
For many, writing freely is the only way to go.
Remember not to self-edit as you write. You can do this later, but for now, just focus on getting the words out; you never know when something you half-wrote out before you deleted it may prove to be useful later on.
There's no set format for writing a blog, but it's always a good idea to follow an outline. This will allow you to segment your information so you can better visualise what the blog will look like and, ultimately, will make this step a lot easier.
Your outline could look something like this:
- Main point
- Additional information
- Main point
- Additional information
Step 4: Add images to enhance your post
This is a biggie. Good visuals can make or break your post.
Nobody likes to read a long blog post without any images; images are often what attract readers to your post in the first place and provide them with an idea of what's to come.
Ideally, you will need to use high-quality images. If you aren't able to use your own photos, there are plenty of websites that offer stock images either for a charge or for free. Always make sure you understand any attached copyright laws and credit where credit is due.
Also, include links within your posts; this will demonstrate that your content is credible as it is backed with research from other sources. Links also provide readers with a more in-depth experience as they lead to complementary or related information that doesn't duplicate the content in your blog post.
Step 5: Look at your post with a fresh pair of eyes
Read through your post again after you've had a break from looking at your screen. The longer you look at something, the fewer mistakes you're likely to spot. Even better - get a coworker to double-check your writing for you; it's great to get a second opinion.
Even the most experienced writers make mistakes, so this is a vital step for all writers to keep an eye out for any typos and grammatical errors.
You're good to go!
Congratulations, you're now the proud owner of a blog that is ready to hit the world wide web.
Whether you want to publish your post straight away or schedule it to be published at a later date, it's a good idea to create a blog calendar. This will give you, and the wider business, visibility of what is in the pipeline and will also generate momentum for creating consistent blogs or news articles