Great content, including copy, is the foundation of any website. In order to produce great content, you need a great copywriter. Your copywriter digs deep to understand the nature of your company and get what makes you tick. Once they understand the nuances of your business and your marketplace, they research topics related to your industry and produce content like the very words you’re reading now. They add to the written content by embedding videos, photos and illustrations to deepen the reader’s understanding and post content that is engaging and makes the reader want to share it with their friends and co-workers. This is how it’s currently done, but what if a piece of software could do the same job in less time?
The real question is would you want to read an article or blog post if it was assembled by something other than a person? When we think of robo-content, the first thing that comes to mind are the all caps assaults on your e-mail courtesy of Nigerian princes and ads promising Viagra in your mailbox the next day. Content is about highlighting connections between a writer or company and the reader. The mere thought of an automated script gathering text and molding that information into an article alarms some writers, but why? The reaction to change is essentially the same as the 7 stages of grief:
Shock and Denial
When a machine can do a person’s job, the first reaction is panic. A writer will absolutely defend their work, even in the face of valid criticism. “To suggest a robot of sorts will be taking over my job? Never!” The problem with this knee-jerk reaction is missing the bigger picture. Software like Inbound Writer isn’t going to take out the writing industry, it is merely going to become another tool for writer’s to utilize in crafting content. Don’t focus so much on your job security and instead look at innovations in your industry as new opportunities to learn and expand your skillsets and even make your job easier. If the world is changing, then change with it.
Pain and Guilt
“What could I have done more?” a copywriter might ask themselves. Was my content too stiff? Did it not connect with a broad (or narrow) enough audience? Again, you’re just focusing on your job, this time with performance. Get out of this mindset and look at this as an opportunity to evaluate your work using these new tools. Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica had some fun with (and poked fun at) InboundWriter in a post where he tried out the software on his own articles. In the end, new technology will always emerge and beating yourself up about it won’t make you any more proficient in using or accepting it as a part of your work routine.
Anger and Bargaining
Once you’ve taken a look at what’s being developed, your sadness will turn to anger. “How could they do that? Writing is a sacred art!” Your high horse will begin to teeter as your anger grows and you’ll try to strike a bargain in your mind. “Well, maybe I’ll only use it for 20 percent of my content, just to decrease my workload.” Freelance writing sites like Textbroker show that there more to new services than providing a decreased workload. Quality will always matter most. As advanced as algorithms have become, there is still something inherently special about the human brain, the ultimate supercomputer. You’ll still need to review the content to make sure the message is clear, not merely a sputtering collection of words and photos slapped together because your software didn’t quite understand your request. Computers function on the basis of GIGO, that is “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” Research will always require more than raw data, it needs a person to understand and convey the “why” rather than simply stating facts that detail what you can do for a reader.
Depression, Reflection and Loneliness
After some thinking, a copywriter may retreat into their own world. Deep analysis and reflection will follow. Every single article they’ve written will be picked apart, dwelled upon and ultimately regarded as terrible. Instead of approaching your entire body of work, focus on your more recent work or posts. Copywriters, and everyone else in the business world, evolve. Looking back on your earlier content is important, but make it about what you’ve improved rather than what you did wrong. Look for patterns in your period of reflection and see how you can build upon your past successes. Just as important is talking it out with someone. You are writing for an audience, so gauging what they think of your work is more important than your insights. You may think your copy is incredible, but if nobody wants o read it, it’ll have the same impact on the world that a locked journal tucked under a mattress would have. Don’t be lonely, share your work and take constructive criticism in stride.
The Upward Turn
You’ll realize, once you turn that corner and understand that change comes in all industries, just how valuable an opportunity automated writing software can be for you as a copywriter. It’ll free up time to prioritize content and make tedious work a thing of the past.
Reconstruction and Working Through
Maybe you’ll ask for a product demo, play around with some features and get to know your new “robot coworker” a little better. It’s hard to bash something until you’ve tried it, so keep yourself open to new technology and try it out before you start worrying or being dismissive. You’ll save yourself the trouble of having to deal with these stages each and every time a new update or tool comes around.
Acceptance and Hope
Welcome to the end, the light at the end of the tunnel. Once you’ve tried out the software, you’ll realize that it’s less of a Terminator/Skynet future with our coming “robot overlords” and more of a gradual journey to the integration of technology into every aspect of our lives. You might not see your toothbrush or the asphalt you drove on this morning as technology, since there’s no buttons to push or sync options, but they’re still developments in technology. Children now see it as normal to have a toothbrush that counts down how long you should be brushing and new material technology may very well replace the very roads we drive on someday soon. This is hope. This is the realization that you can either be a part of the change or be cast aside as you stand in the way. Software is a tool, an extension of the capabilities you already have. If you can’t produce great content, buying a piece of software isn’t going to change that. It’d be as if you walked into a hardware store, bought a hammer and expected a house to be built. Take the opportunity to explore new technology with a careful eye, not merely to be critical, but to understand just what it has to offer you.