Let me preface this post by stating that I am NOT an early adopter of technology. Instead, I like to take a wait and see stance and then observe, do some research, dip my toe in the water, and then think about my positions. This behavior has served me well in many areas of my life, and drilling down to find the truth about AI for marketing is no exception.
There is no shame in wanting to find good tools, shortcuts and helpful products that can benefit your business as an online entrepreneur. In fact, avoiding all new technology just because it takes you out of your comfort zone can be foolish.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for years, in many aspects of our lives. But recently, it has blasted onto the Internet marketing scenes like a bull in a China shop. Without complete understanding or careful thought, tools based on AI and courses being taught about using them are not taking into consideration potential problems.
You have to know that as soon as something like this emerges, dozens of unethical marketers are going to jump on the chance to sell you a “push button” solution they claim will deliver overnight riches.
In fact, many are claiming you can write a bestselling novel in less than 10 minutes using AI, or that you’ll never have to write a single word again for your online content. Out of sheer desperation and desire, thousands will adopt these misleading claims as truth, setting their business up for a big fall in the near future.
But let’s not make this an AI bashing session, either. Like most tools, it has good uses and can benefit many individuals, but using it without knowledge or avoiding it completely can also be a form of self-sabotage. If you want to uncover the proper way to embrace this technology, read on and check out the training I’m a part of online…
NOTE: The ONLY training I am recommending on this topic of AI (Artificial Intelligence) for marketers, content creators, and others online is from people I know and trust. Denise Wakeman and Andy O’Bryan have created the AI Success Club and I am excited to be learning everything there is to know on this topic, as well as how to utilize it for for business from these two thought leaders.
Artificial Intelligence Can Be Beneficial to Many Online Entrepreneurs
Let’s start with the positive aspects of how AI can help online entrepreneurs, because there is value in this tool. When you think about how marketers struggle with different strengths and weaknesses, you can probably imagine the many ways AI can step up to help improve in areas that are lacking.
Brainstorming ideas and outlines is one great use for AI tools. When you feel uninspired or want to get more than what you could come up with yourself, you can ask AI to give you an outline based on a topic.
Drilling down further into topics is another great use. You might start off with a topic about dog care, asking for some dog care topics. Then if you find one you like, ask it to drill down with more ideas.
For example, if you say, “Give me some dog care topics,” it will give you things like:
- Dog nutrition
- Dog training
- Dog health
- Dog Grooming…and so on
Get it to drill down by asking, “Give me 10 dog training topics to write about.” It will give you things like:
- Potty training
- Obedience training
- Clicker training
- Leash training
- Socialization…and more.
Expanding on topics into other niche areas is another thing AI can do for you. Let’s say your topic was weight loss and you asked AI to give you some other niches that can be tied into the weight loss niche.
It might tell you:
- Stress…and so on.
You can even have it tell you how it’s tied into the main niche topic. For example, it will tell you that the cooking niche is tied in because “learning to cook healthy meals at home can be an important part of a weight loss plan.”
For fashion, it says, “Fashion niches such as clothing and accessories can help people feel more confident in their appearance, which can be an important part of feeling good about oneself while trying to lose weight.”
Helping you get your point across more concisely is another thing AI can do for you. If you’re bad about using bloated content that tends to bore people, or you need to be more concise in your social media post, ask AI to trim down your content to 3-4 sentences.
This can be a way to summarize a blog post and then link back to the full version when you post it on Facebook or elsewhere. You can even ask it to hype up the content or include a call to action if you want to.
Writing all elements of your sales copy is something AI can help you with. It can give you headline ideas (that you can mix and match). It can turn thoughts into bullet points and help you create storyline or a call to action with a sense of urgency.
Figuring out how to introduce a topic is something you can use AI tools for. If you type in, “What would be a good introduction for an article about learning how to use solar products and the best products to buy for a beginner survival prepper?”
It will give you a rather sterile answer, but you can at least see what concepts it includes so that you can write something from scratch that better captures your voice and advice without missing any important elements.
Helping you with a wrap up statement or conclusion works the same. If you feed it your article, it can help you summarize the content, and again – you can ask it to include a call to action before writing it in your own words.
Giving you affiliate marketing ideas and slants is another wonderful use of AI. For example, you might start with a question of, “What are 20 types of products a survival prepper niche marketer could promote as an affiliate?”
It would tell you things like:
- Survival Food Kits
- Water Filters
- Solar-Powered Generators
- First Aid Kits…and so on.
But then, you can take your previous question and insert just one of the items from the list above, like this: “What are 20 types of survival food products a survival prepper would need?”
It would then drill down and tell you things like:
- MREs (meals ready to eat)
- Freeze-dried food
- Canned foods
- Protein bars…and more.
If you’re struggling for ideas on what to say about a product you want to promote, ask AI to give you some ideas. You can say something like, “What should people look for when buying MREs as a survival food to store?”
The system will say things like:
- Shelf life
- Nutritional value
- Caloric intake
- Durable packaging…and more.
AI can also be a good keyword generator. If you tell it, “Give me a keyword cluster for an article about solar survival gear,” it will deliver the following:
- Solar power
- Survival gear
- Emergency preparedness
- Off-grid living
- Renewable energy
- Portable solar panels
- Solar-powered generators
- Solar-powered lights
- Solar-powered water filtration
- Solar-powered communications devices
- Solar-powered cooking devices
- Alternative power sources
- Sustainable living
- Outdoor adventures
- Camping gear
- Hiking gear
- Eco-friendly products
- Energy independence
- Power outages
- Natural disasters
Now as you can see, some of those are not closely related to solar survival at all. I’d get ride of outdoor adventures, camping gear, eco-friendly products, hiking gear and maybe a few others that are not closely tied into solar survival.
So as you can see, the tools have a great many uses. What’s sad is that many people are going to abuse it and leverage it in a way that sabotages their business, rather than helps them accelerate their success.
AI content can also be used for graphic design, videos, and music. So you might be able to tap into it for more than just content – but again, there are drawbacks to using it as is and being sloppy with your shortcuts.
Now, let’s look at some problem areas and then talk about how to minimize your risk…
When AI Gets It Wrong, You’d Better Not Let It Slip Through the Cracks
Some people use AI as their research tool. This is very dangerous and should never be done. They also use the content as is – another big mistake. But let’s talk about the erroneous information first.
AI doesn’t have the ability to discern what’s truth and what’s not. It’s simply fed massive amounts of data and it then churns out content based on what it has absorbed. They admit that they’re not fully up to date, so it lags in terms of knowledge.
Here’s an example for you. When an AI tool was asked for tips on blogging for good SEO, it stated this as one of the tips:
Now anyone who knows online marketing knows that Google and other search engines are now wanting thorough, exhaustive content (often known as pillar blog posts) – not thin content pieces that don’t even add up to 3-4 paragraphs.
But if all you did was copy and paste this tip in your own content, you’d look pretty foolish. People who read that tip, who know better, would no longer trust your advice and would want to steer clear of anything else you had to say because they’d be worried that your content was misleading.
According to one AI company, they themselves state: “ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, and it can occasionally produce incorrect answers. It has limited knowledge of world and events after 2021 and may also occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content.”
They also state: “ChatGPT will occasionally make up facts or “hallucinate” outputs.” Do you really want a technical tool “hallucinating” answers or flat out lying and getting things wrong when representing your brand online?
No. So therefore, you cannot simply use AI tools to quickly and easily produce content. You have to not only know the best way to prompt it, but also expect it to get things wrong, conduct ample research for the answers it gives you and then write your content from scratch.
It’s no different than if you used a keyword tool and a search engine – you still are responsible for the output and what you are leading your readers to believe. These AI errors can damage your reputation, and depending on what niche you’re in, could harm your readers if you’re not careful!
If someone notices that your AI-generated content is wrong, they can begin discussions about it and you might suffer from negative backlash from your customers – especially if you’re trying to use it to create paid products and not just a blog post.
While scummy marketer are trying to push AI tools on you with promises that you don’t have to lift a finger, you have to understand that only you care about your business – they have no remorse over whether or not you end up a laughingstock in your niche.
You have to first use only the best versions of these AI tools. They vary in quality. Some simply scrape and rewrite content like a spinner does. They will likely get better over time, but they’re not there yet.
You have to ensure human oversight and creative intervention whenever you’re leveraging these tools, so it’s not quite as “copy and paste” as they make it out to be. In fact, some people find it easier to just write from scratch than to start using these tools at all, because if they’re used correctly, it’s time consuming.
AI Content Lacks the One Advantage You Could Have Over the Competition
While AI content is a neat form of search engine and brainstorming tool, it should not be used to represent you online as your brand’s voice. In today’s world, people elevate influencers and personalities to a level above all of the sterile content creators who do nothing but spit out facts and figures.
If you want to be competitive in a niche, you have to have a human voice to attract an audience and lead them in their niche journey. AI, even though it can write content that is easy to read, cannot inject that human voice into your content.
It can’t share stories about your grandmother’s cooking or what propelled you to pursue your online career. It can’t convey the emotional impact certain situations have, which is what really resonates with your readers.
Whenever you’re learning from a niche leader, it’s these human elements that determine whether or not you want to follow them. Anyone can read an encyclopedia-like piece of content, but they don’t choose to.
Look at the difference between this AI-created content and content published by a human blogger when asked about why someone starts a weight loss journey. The AI answers:
“There are many reasons why someone may want to lose weight. One of the most common reasons is for health reasons, as being overweight or obese can increase the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Losing weight can also improve overall physical function and mobility, as well as reduce the risk of developing joint problems. In addition to health benefits, losing weight can also improve one’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. Some people may also want to lose weight for aesthetic reasons, such as to fit into certain clothes or feel more comfortable in their own skin.”
Technically, it’s correct (in this instance) albeit as interesting as the ingredients list on a box of cereal. But in today’s world where influence and storytelling reign supreme, it can’t compete with a human personality.
When you do a Google search for “why I started a weight loss journey blog,” this is the top result: https://soveryblessed.com/my-weight-loss-journey. This woman talks about her journey going from an “insecure fat kid” who endured teasing and who tried all sorts of programs she failed at before she finally found the right motivations for her own life.
If a consumer is looking for someone to follow, it’s not going to be the simple fact-spouting content piece – it’s going to be someone who has walked in their footsteps and can relate to their emotional state.
Not only that, but facts like the AI tossed out are going to be used by all kinds of sites, so there’s no human element being used to set them apart from one another. Only you can do that.
Even a freelancers or PLR (private label rights) provider can inject human priorities and emotions into the writing better than an artificial intelligence tool can. They have the awareness and logic to do that.
So you cannot simply type prompts into AI tools, copy and paste the content – or you will watch as your traffic dwindles – not only because search engines will bury you, but real visitors will bounce away from your site, unimpressed with your content.
Some Freelancers Are Using AI to Scam You
Many people use freelance service providers in an effort to help them save time on tasks in their business. If you are a marketer who has been paying freelance ghostwriters, graphic designers, and video producers money to develop unique content for you, you’ll need to be more careful with who you hire from now on.
Now that AI has gone mainstream in the marketplace online, many people are using it to scam unsuspecting clients out of their hard earned money. In one example, a ghostwriter was hired to create a book for a client, only to deliver it in its entirety 24 hours later, but they forgot to remove all of the AI prompts in the content that they had copied and pasted into their deliverables.
The freelancer wanted hundreds of dollars in payment, even though they had not written any of the content themselves, but instead simply prompted an AI tool to do the work for them.
While you may not always get such a blatant bit of proof as the prompts being left in the content, you can tell whether or not the content has been written by a human or by an artificial intelligence tool in many cases.
There are now tools that you can use where you can copy and paste the content into them and it will tell you if it was generated by an AI tool. If you’ve ever used a tool like Copyscape, then you’ll understand how this works.
You can pay a penny to $0.05 for some of these tools, paste the content into them, and it will show you what has been copied. Many universities and schools are now using these types of AI-detection tools to prevent students from passing off computer work as their own.
Another thing that has happened in the case of graphic designers and even video production is that some freelancers are using images and otherwise copyrighted work in their production because they are allowing AI to do it for them.
In some instances, watermarks were even found in the AI-created graphics content. remember, these artificial intelligence tools can only create based off of what it has been fed, and it cannot create things out of thin air.
You, as a human, do have the ability to be creative without having to rely on any other outside input. It is going to be extremely tempting for both freelance service providers as well as private label rights sellers to simply utilize these tools to turn out content, graphics, and video modules in an effort to make a quick buck.
Therefore, if you are going to be using freelancers or PLR sellers, you are going to have to be careful to only work with people that you trust. There will be sellers that you formally trusted who end up shortcutting their work, and letting you down in the process.
Many people suspect that someday in the future, AI content will be so prevalent that those who are capable of claiming that the content was generated by a human will have an advantage over those relying on artificial tools.
Why is it so important that your content was created by a human and not an AI tool? After all, Google supposedly gave their blessing to AI recently and said that they would not penalize sites that are using it.
However, they specified that the content cannot be generated by an AI tool with the sole purpose of ranking well in the search engines. They also went on to say that you should clarify to your readers that the content was created by an AI machine.
This is a bit of a setback for online entrepreneurs, because your purpose in publishing a high volume of content is to position yourself as a niche leader that has a lot of insight and knowledge.
If you then have to tell everyone in a disclosure that the content was created by a machine, it detracts from your credibility and you will lose loyalty from the target audience in that niche.
You can’t expect freelance service providers to know all of the rules and guidelines that Google and other search engines are putting out about artificial intelligence. They won’t know that they are sabotaging your business by delivering you machine generated content.
There are already numerous tools that can scan and detect AI created content. You can expect that search engines will be crawling content on your blog and looking to see if you have disclosed that, or if your content even meets their guidelines under the “Helpful Content” update.
In most cases, AI content does not deliver on the EEAT concepts that Google holds dear to them. These are Expertise, Experience, Authority and Trustworthiness. If a freelancer is relying on a machine that may hallucinate or outright lie about facts, it isn’t conducive to helping search engines view your content as trustworthy or your blog as an authority site.
Not only do you have to worry about search engines, but you may, in some cases, be hit with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice, where they order you to take down the content.
Some people have found that their AI content was, indeed, scraped from the Internet on someone else’s website. Even though some of these tools claim that you don’t have to worry about plagiarism, some results have shown this to be untrue.
Platforms Will Begin Weeding Out AI-Produced Content
While marketers are happily jumping on the trend of using AI in their business, and selling courses and tools all about how to use this new technology, platforms are being very careful about what they will and won’t allow.
If you look back in the past, you can see how Internet marketers have spoiled otherwise savvy strategies and technology with their unethical procedures. They are always looking to make a quick buck, and they don’t care about the consumer or end user or the quality of what they are putting out.
They will use tools that scrape people’s websites, compile the content into a book, spin it and publish it on Amazon, trying to make as much money as they can before their entire account gets banned.
Getty Images has banned AI-generated content from its site because they worry about any legal implications in selling it. Because these tools can only curate existing information and then create from that, they are smart in banning the content from being uploaded to their sight.
Google recently stated that AI generated content is not going to be punished, but they previously stated that using AI writing tools is basically considered spam. Therefore, you can assume they will carefully be analyzing content that is posted online to evaluate it for quality.
The only reason they probably backtracked is because they were trying to have a big release of their own AI tool called BARD. However, in a live event, their AI tool embarrassingly delivered erroneous information in front of everyone, causing a huge financial loss for the company.
AI is being abused by some marketers who want to try to publish fiction and make money on it before it is banned on Amazon and elsewhere. But one recent example showed why you may not want to allow a machine to create your genre fiction.
When prompted to develop a plot for a romance, the artificial intelligence was able to come up with a generic storyline between a man and a woman who were in love. But that’s not enough to become a bestseller, so another prompt was added to ask the machine to include a twist in the story.
The AI tool, lacking human discernment in what we would find disgusting, decided that the twist should be that the man and woman discovered they were brother and sister, and then had to decide whether to continue on with their romance.
Needless to say, this wouldn’t go over very well with romance readers. But if you were sloppy and relying on these tools to do the work for you, without any research into tropes that people actually want to see, you would publish it and become a laughingstock without making the money you had hoped to earn.
But can AI be used to help people who want to get into fiction? Of course it can! For example, if you had no idea about what would happened when one car T-bones another, you could ask the AI tool for a description of it and it could provide it to you.
Not only could it tell you what type of damage the cars sustained, but it may also be able to inform you about what types of injuries the passengers may indoor, from minor ones to more severe injuries.
Of course, you would have to then go and research to see if what the AI provided you was factually correct. The benefit of using a tool like this is that it can spur ideas or remind you to include things you may not have considered.
For example, the more details you give it, the more it could paint a picture for you. Instead of simply asking about two cars being involved in a T-bone accident, you might specify that an F150 truck was traveling 60 mph and T-boned a tiny smart car that had just pulled out into an intersection.
This type of information helps the AI tool clarify that’s the severity of the damage would be catastrophic for the Smart car as well as the passengers who are driving it. It might mention “crumple zones,” and if you didn’t know about those, it could give you an idea to research that.
There are always unethical people who try to game a system. On Amazon, many marketers tried to do what was known as book stuffing, which is where self published indie authors were trying to boost the number of pages that were red, and ultimately increasing their own income.
You can bet that they will eventually identify AI generated, low quality automated content and somehow put restrictions on that, whether you are publishing fiction or nonfiction books.
Even if many platforms are not currently banning AI-generated content yet, the massive abuse and low quality many marketers will flood into their platforms will eventually cause a clamp down on search engines, selling platforms, social media sites and more.
Risk Management Tips for Using AI in Your Online Business
Based on what we have discussed up to now, you can see that there are both pros and cons to utilizing AI technology in your online business. You don’t have to forego it completely, but you need to be wise when using it in any form of content creation, whether it’s text, graphics, or video.
Think of how you can mitigate the risks associated with using artificial intelligence so that you aren’t sabotaging your business now or in the future, or damaging your reputation with consumers who follow you in the niche.
Start by making sure that you aren’t relying completely on these tools to do all of your work for you. They are not meant for content creation in full. You should have direct input into the message associated with your content.
You also want to make sure that even if you are using it for ideas and brainstorming, you have a great deal of oversight into the facts that you are choosing to use that it’s presented.
You still want to have a heavy hand in how the branding and voice is delivered to your audience. Sterile content simply can’t compete with personality, so use AI as a side tool rather than allowing it to take over your brand in full.
As more and more people learn about AI and use it (sloppily), you’ll have fewer pieces of original content being published online – especially for popular niche topics. You’ll have people teaching the same prompts and AI tools delivering almost identical content that fails to set you apart from anyone else.
You also want to mitigate your risk by learning how to use the tools properly and then staying abreast of all rules and guidelines being discussed by various platforms. Even if you can get away with something right now, it doesn’t mean that a future clampdown won’t occur.
Imagine spending time creating hundreds of pages for your blog or uploading dozens of books onto Amazon, only to find your site buried or your account completely shut down because of your reliance on AI.
You don’t want to be left in a lurch, panicking because there’s no way you can go fix all of that content before a severe update occurs. Very rarely do they give you advance notice, instead choosing to simply dole out consequences for those who have been trying to game the system.
I’m Connie Ragen Green, seeking the truth about AI in marketing, and sharing everything I learn with you! Check out the training on this topic by the only people I trust to teach and share the latest research and facts, along with training, updates, and a community of like-minded marketers, authors, coaches, and more.
Lois Raats says
Many thanks for your informative, worthwhile article, Connie!
Connie Ragen Green says
You are most welcome, Lois. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I visited your website as well!
~ Connie Ragen Green