The Potential of AI for Solopreneurs, Part 3: Blogging
Can AI actually create quality blog posts quickly and easily? I generated blog posts with three AI tools to test just how good they are.
A recent survey of bloggers found that it takes an average of just over 4 hours to write a blog post! And most bloggers say that finding the time to write is their biggest challenge.
As a blogging newbie, that’s certainly been my experience too! So in continuing my exploration of AI tools for solopreneurs, I was keen to see if content AI tools can help save some time (and effort) in the blog post creation process.
Now, there are a LOT of content AI tools available. I wanted to focus more on reasonably priced long-form content creation tools, and ended up testing out the following three:
Anyword – free plan with 1,000 word credits per month / US$24 for 20,000 word credits per month
Autoblogging – plans starting at US$19 for 20 articles per month
TextBuilder – currently US$99 one time fee
In each case, I used the same topic prompt – how solopreneurs can benefit from content AI for blogging – so I could compare the results from each tool. You can skip straight to the generated blog posts, if you prefer. Or read on, for my experiences and opinions of each tool:
Anyword is a AI copywriting tool which generates copy for a wide range of use cases – including blog posts.
After signing in, you are taken through a 5 step process to create a blog post.
Step 1 is describing the post you want to create. You are prompted to enter in 5 -300 words, and can choose an industry, and add in SEO keywords too. I entered my topic, but left the industry and keywords blank.
Step 2 is choosing a title from the list generated by the AI. You can generate more, or have the option to use your own title, if you don’t like any of those provided.
The image below shows the titles generated from my topic prompt, with predicted engagement scores (out of 100) next to each. Note that the second title is just my topic, word for word! It was interesting to see it got a good score, and I chose this as the title to be used.
Step 3 is generating an outline. Note that once again, its possible for you to edit the output – and even to manually add new sections to the outline.
This is where I started to get frustrated with the AI. I had to generate the outline 5 times to get one which was appropriate for my title! Below is the outline I eventually settled on.
Step 4 is generating the intro, content for each section in the outline, and the conclusion – all individually. For each, you can add keywords, and for all except for the intro, you can add further prompts.
This is where I once again became frustrated by the AI’s output. Some sections required me to re-generate the output multiple times. I had to regenerate the content for Section 3 seven times before I got content which matched its title!
I also found that the language was not really geared to solo business owners (even though the topic uses the word “solopreneurs”), with lots of mention of “company” and “team”, so I did have to do some minor editing to fix this.
In total, it took just over 30 mins to generate a full blog post. While this is far less time than writing your own post, and could become faster with some practice, it still took more time and effort than I was expecting. The final output was reasonable in terms of its quality, but would still require some editing in order to be usable – adding even more time to the process.
Take a look at the final result. What do you think?
Autoblogging bills itself as a “one click AI article writer”. I was keen to see just how quickly and easily it could generate an entire blog post.
Not surprisingly, it’s UI is a lot simpler than that of Anyword. You simply check the Quick mode checkbox, enter in the title/topic for your post, change the language (if not English), and click the “generate article” button.
It was certainly easy! But what about quick? It took less than a minute to generate an article! I’d say that was pretty bloody quick!
And the quality? I thought the quality was really good – better, in fact, than that generated by Anyword, which took me 30x longer! But you can judge for yourself.
Sure, the output would still require some editing here and there in order to be usable, but overall, it provided a pretty damn good starting point. I was pretty impressed!
One of the main reasons for wanting to test out TextBuilder, is that its currently (at the time of writing) available for a one time fee of $99! It was also getting lots of positive comments in the business FaceBook groups I frequent.
It offers a free test with 1000 word credits, which is just enough for one article. The free test doesn’t allow you to use their 1-click article generator though, which I was a little disappointed with. So I had to use their standard step-by-step generator, which worked in a similar way to Anyword’s. Unlike Anyword’s though, it wasn’t a clearly guided process.
I found the UI to be a bit clumsy, to be honest. Still it was easy enough to figure out what to do.
First step, was to enter in your blog post title, and hit “generate”. You could choose how many results you wanted it to spit out. As I only had 1,000 words to play with on the free trial, I kept it at 1.
The AI then generated an intro. I wasn’t overly impressed with it, so I decide to regenerate it. The second result was better, and I clicked the “add to writer” button to copy the text across to the writing area on the right side of the screen (see screenshot below).
The next step was to generate a blog post outline. The first result (below) was actually pretty good! I was impressed that I didn’t need to regenerate multiple times to get a decent outline which matched my topic (unlike with Anyword).
Now that I had the outline, the next step was to generate the content for each point. This is where the UI/UX wasn’t as good as with Anyword. I had to manually copy the text for each point, paste it into their “Outline to Blog Section” generator, and then use the “add to writer” button to copy across the output to the right side of the screen. While it wasn’t overly onerous, it did interrupt the flow of creating the post somewhat.
What I did notice about the section generator, was its use of the “first, second/next, finally” format (see) to begin each new paragraph. Three of generated the sections used this, so it was rather repetitive. Still, its easily corrected, so not exactly a deal breaker.
The last step was generating the conclusion. The result was a pretty bland, uninteresting way to conclude the post, but I did like that it had a call to action and invited comment – something the posts generated by the other two tools didn’t have.
Overall though, I thought the quality of the output was quite decent. Given that the tool is still early in its development and available as a one off payment, I can see that with some improvements to it UI and UX, it could be quite a good investment! I just wish I had been able to test out the 1-click article generator.
You can see the result for yourself.
I was surprised with the quality of most of the content created by the these long-form tools, especially by Autoblogging. It gave a pretty decent result for only a couple of minutes work!
While I wouldn’t be using any of these tools without editing and adding my own personal touch to them, I can certainly see how they can be used to provide a great starting point. It certainly beats starting with a blank page, especially for those times when you’re struggling for inspiration.
So there’s no doubt in my mind that these AI tools can cut down that average 4 hour blog post creation time, and save us bloggers some effort in the process! I’m excited to explore more of these tools and see what’s really possible when I get really familiar with how they work and how to get the most out of them.
What do you think of the AI generated posts? Which one did you prefer? Have you tried, or do you use, any AI tools for blogging? If so, I’d love to hear your experiences. Let me know in the comments below.
Hi, I’m Debbie
I’ve been running my own web design business for over 20 years now. During this time I’ve learned a thing or two about how to operate successfully as a solopreneur, and am still working on making it as stress-free as possible (for both myself and my clients!).
I want to help others become successful and stress-free solopreneurs too, by sharing my knowledge, experience, business trials and tribulations!
One response to “The Potential of AI for Solopreneurs, Part 3: Blogging”
I haven’t used anyword but a big fan of Autoblogging and Text builder.
Nice and precise article.
Even my main purpose of using AI writing tool is to save time as a Solopreneur.