< Our insights

Why a blog writer should be half human, half machine

Published Oct 01, 2023 – By Andrew Strange

Mixed media hero image hand with pen and paper coming out of laptop screen for Wardour blog on writer should be half human, half man

This is an ordinary article that any blog writer might produce, right? Just words on a digital page with my thoughts added in a stream of consciousness. Designed to delight and entertain you while giving a flavour of the content creation capabilities and culture of our agency, but with little more value than that.

But look a little closer. Why are there so many links on the page, where do they go and why? Why have I decided to write about blogs at all? Why have I chosen these particular words? And why is this blog post the length it is? What you are really looking at is my 36 years of experience as a journalist combined with the power of artificial intelligence. I am now half man and half machine – the best of both worlds.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand how to write a great blog post using traditional journalistic techniques. I always try to hook the reader with the most interesting point in the first paragraph and I summarise the whole article in the first three paragraphs because – well, let’s face it – many people won’t get further than that.

And I always imagine myself saying what I’ve written to a friend in the pub or over coffee to see if it sounds strange or stilted – a superb writing tip I’ve used since college.

Measurable blog writing

So, I wrote this article, not a machine, but these days every blog needs to work harder than my expertise alone can achieve. They need to show measurable results that offer real benefit to an organisation. That’s why, while this blog is written to give you the benefit of my insight into blogging, it’s carefully designed to do much more than that. It is actively contributing to our online authority and, as a consequence, it’s helping to boost our website traffic.

That’s because the AI half of me knows how to get search engines excited. These days it takes much more than adding a few keywords. Gone are the days when a blog writer could simply add a keyword 100 times in white on a white background and watch the traffic flood in. Google’s smarter than it used to be and it wants real evidence that we know what we are talking about and have the authority to produce quality content.

So, the AI is supplementing my understanding of what makes other human beings smile, or cry and become angry or sad with its expertise in the kind of topics that I hadn’t dreamed of when I studied journalism decades ago. These include things like keywords, cluster strategies, semantic similarity, and internal and external linking. The arrival of AI this year has changed the world for blog writers, supercharging our ability to bring traffic (and business) to our organisations.

The arrival of AI this year has changed the world for blog writers, supercharging our ability to bring traffic (and business) to our organisations

Choosing blog topics

Take the topic of this blog, for example, which happens to be, well, writing blogs. You probably think I chose it randomly. In fact, it was chosen because the AI has been busy behind the scenes helping us to develop an effective cluster of content. Look at the words ’blog writer’ in the first line. Like many others on this page, it hasn’t been used by accident. It was chosen because, according to the technology, it has a semantic connection to the phrase ’Content Marketing Agency,’ which is the subject of another page altogether.

In fact, look at some of the other words on this page. The AI has provided me with dozens of words and phrases to add, which means I don’t have to worry about repetition like I did in the old days. In fact, 90 individual words in this blog post are there because they have been given the thumbs up by an AI tool. These are words like:

  • quality content
  • professional writer
  • keyword research
  • blogging
  • blog writing service.

See what I did there? The tool gives me a content score to hit to outperform other sites and that list has given me a seven-point uplift – sneaky. Technology has also told me that the term ’blog writers’ is a commercial term. If you’re reading this, you may well be looking for blog writing services from a professional writer. Sales isn’t in my skill set but the machine has turned me into a salesman. I never thought I’d be using this phrase, but the tech reckons ’blog writers’ are a ’bottom of the sales funnel’ – you’re being sold to.

Semantically connecting blog posts

Have a look at where the hyperlinks on this page go. They’ll lead you to blogs on topics like corporate videos. These are also topics that the AI, having assessed many thousands of pages on the internet, believes Google will see as semantically linked and will therefore encourage its algorithms to increase our authority score. And as already said, authority means traffic and business.

Why have we chosen these topics rather than the many others that have a semantic link? It’s because the AI now also tells us more accurately where we have authority. Instead of the traditional route of finding keywords and phrases that were easy to rank against, we can now identify those words that might be tough for most sites to rank for, but easy for us because we have authority for a particular topic.

As you might expect, we have a great deal of authority for phrases linked to content agencies in London, and so by building out from that topic on another page we can spread the SEO rocket fuel to this one.

I’ve been elevated to the role of secret sauce. In this world of AI, a real human content writer is becoming a differentiator

Blog writing with the human touch

It all begs the question, what am I for? In truth, I’ve been elevated to the role of secret sauce. In this world of AI, a real human content writer is becoming a differentiator. In this article, I came up with the approach. I decided to tell you how this blog was created. How we used AI to identify topics, optimise the page and develop a linking strategy. And I, like you, remember a time before AI and so I’ve been able to set its amazing advances in context for you – and perhaps with a note of nostalgia for a simpler time.

I’ve also added the humour with phrases like “sneaky” and “half human, half machine”. And above all, I’ve reined in the excesses of the AI. I’ve tempered its demand for a word length of 1,900 words. This might be what Google wants but I fear even my prose might get tedious for humans like you at that length. And what’s the point of bringing more people to our site just to bore them rigid, so I’ve sacrificed some SEO performance for your sake.

I’m also expected to be what Google will look for in future to identify original thought for its searchers rather than what’s likely to be ubiquitous machine-produced repetition. As a human content writer, I play a critical role in hitting Google’s much-discussed EEAT signal. I’m an important part of the puzzle when it comes to demonstrating experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

And of course, I have a passion for the subject. My work has helped our agency win awards. I wrote my first article in 1987 and love what I do, and I hope that enthusiasm is infectious. All organisations have people like me whose enthusiasm and experience is an online asset. Whether it’s finance, engineering or recruitment, there are people who spend their working lives focusing on it and have the kind of insight that Google really wants to find in an article writer.

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