AI content generation tools are already used by 52% of business leaders to support their content marketing — and that number continues to grow. No wonder: These tools promise efficiency, speed, and convenience.
But AI-generated content often lacks a human touch, making it sound bland, detached, and lacking in personality. Losing your brand or writer’s voice is easily done.
With a decade of experience in content marketing, I’ve successfully navigated the shifting tides of the industry. I've harnessed the power of AI to enhance content creation while preserving brands’ distinctive voices and personalities, creating a dynamic and relatable storytelling experience.
In this article, I’ll show you how to use AI while preserving your voice. Whether you're a freelance writer striving to maintain your unique style or a brand wanting to stand out in a crowded marketplace, I've got you covered with my seven tips for humanizing AI content.
What makes human writing unique and relatable?
Human writing is unique and relatable because it pulls from common experiences, nuance, and expressions that resonate with the audience.
When done well, this is what gives the writer a “voice.” Writing in your voice is about creating content that resonates emotionally and connects with your audience on a personal level. By pulling from your experiences, contextualizing information, and approaching content with a critical eye, you can allow the reader to relate to and trust you. It’s also what sparks interest, ignites curiosity, and elicits feelings.
On the other hand, AI is prone to bias and doesn’t add anything new to the conversation (more on that later).
Why is so much AI content bland and detached?
The way AI text generators work contributes to bland and detached content. These AI systems collect vast amounts of data to produce the "statistically most likely" answer. In essence, they mow the writing landscape to the same height, resulting in cookie-cutter content that lacks the distinctiveness of human writing.
AI text generators can’t consider nuances and cultural context or use conversational phrases in the way that human writers can. Without this, AI-generated writing can feel impersonal and robotic.
7 tips for humanizing AI content and maintaining your voice
There are quick and easy ways to humanize AI-generated content — like adding your personal experiences, adjusting the language, training an AI system to mimic your style, and editing AI-generated content for style and consistency.
Let’s take a look at these tips and more.
Add personal experiences and anecdotes
Share your personal experiences and anecdotes to add authority and relatability to AI-generated content. By adding a personal touch through storytelling or backing up your expertise on the topic, you can quickly connect with your readers.
If your content is about the benefits of a particular product or service, share a personal story about how it made a difference in your life. This adds a human touch and strengthens your authority as a writer or your brand’s credibility.
A few years ago, I worked on a challenging SEO project for a niche e-commerce site selling handmade jewelry. By meticulously researching long-tail keywords and optimizing product descriptions, we were able to improve their rankings and witnessed a 200% increase in organic sales within three months.
Why it works:
In this example, you’re highlighting your background and expertise while telling a real story that proves your success. Demonstrating first-hand experience also helps you meet Google’s E-E-A-T requirements.
Use emotional language to set the mood
Emotion is at the heart of human communication. Injecting emotion into your AI-generated content can make it more engaging and relatable. Consider using humor, passion, frustration, or excitement where appropriate.
Let's say you're writing a blog post about travel. Instead of merely listing destinations, infuse your content with your passion for exploring the world. Describe how a particular trip made you feel alive, and your readers will be more likely to connect with your enthusiasm.
Let me transport you to a sun-kissed afternoon on the Amalfi Coast. The scent of lemon groves filled the air as I followed every twist and turn of the coastal road. The whip of the wind, the minerality of the cliffs meeting the sea, and the searing sun are etched in my memory as the essence of what it means to truly feel alive while traveling.
How to do it:
Think about useful adjectives that you can insert into your AI text. How would you describe the place, thing, person, or experience to bring it to life? Think about the five senses — touch, taste, sound, scent, and sight — and note down any words that spring to mind. See if there are places you can add them to the AI-generated text; it should still sound natural.
Tip: Read your text out loud to yourself to see if it sounds natural or awkward.
Be specific with your prompts and desired voice
When working with AI, specificity is key. Your prompts should reflect the tone and style you want for your content. If you prefer a conversational tone with a touch of humor, make it explicit in your instructions. The more specific you are, the more likely the AI-generated content will align with your voice.
It’s also a good idea to add word counts and any other instructions that provide structure for the AI.
Example ChatGPT prompt:
I’d like you to create a paragraph explaining (insert your topic here). Please keep it to (x) words.
I have some notes on how the writing should sound: I want the content to sound like a friendly, informative conversation with a dash of humor. Share some witty anecdotes and examples to make the topic engaging and relatable. Remember, we’re aiming for an approachable and lively tone.
Train the AI to match your style
Some AI tools allow you to "train" the AI to better match your writing style or your brand's voice.
Here’s how to do it:
- Choose the right AI model: Select an AI platform with customization and fine-tuning capabilities. For example, GPT-3 and similar models let you provide customized instructions and prompts.
- Include examples and guidelines: Collect and share samples of your previous work or examples of content that align with your desired voice. You can use style guides, previous articles, company documents, bios, audio recordings, and example content as reference points for the AI. Upload any relevant material you have to your chosen AI.
- Iterate and refine: Getting the AI to match your voice consistently may take some trial and error. Review the generated content and refine your instructions based on the results. For example, if the first few samples turn out too formal, you can instruct the AI to take a more casual tone. Over time, the AI will learn to mimic your style more accurately.
Remember that while AI can mimic your style, your creativity, authenticity, and unique insights are still the core elements of your voice. AI is a tool to enhance and streamline the content creation process, but it shouldn’t replace your creative input and personal touch.
Use AI as a research assistant, not a writer
Rather than asking AI to generate full paragraphs, request it to provide you with bullet points or relevant data. This gives you the flexibility to craft the content in your voice, incorporating the AI-generated information as needed.
For example, if you’re writing a comprehensive guide on a technical topic, ask the AI to gather data and statistics. Or, use an AI summarizing tool to pull out the key points from articles, reports, other documents, or audio and video files. Then, analyze the data and present it in your unique writing style.
Alt text: Wordtune’s Summarizer tool pulls key information from an article on content marketing trends in 2023.
Fact-check and edit
While AI can be a valuable writing assistant, it’s not perfect. AI-generated content can contain inaccuracies or inconsistencies. Always fact-check the information provided by the AI and edit the content to improve its overall quality. Your human touch is crucial for refining the output and ensuring its accuracy.
Below are a few things to look out for when editing.
- Repeated information: Cut out unnecessary words, repeated phrases, or sentences that simply reiterate the same point you’ve made earlier.
- Heavy-handed language: Look out for formal or clunky words and phrases and simplify them to make your text sound more personable. For example, change “utilize” to “use,” “assist” to “help,” “endeavor” to “try,” and “pertaining to” to “about.”
- Facts: Always double-check any facts or statistics for accuracy and update with more recent ones (if available). Statista, Hubspot’s blog, and the SemRush blog are great places to find up-to-date statistics on content marketing, for example.
- Definitive statements: When reading AI-generated text, I always ask myself, “Is this statement completely true? Or could there be other opinions on this topic out there?” Be critical and trust your instincts. Read other articles and reports on your topic to see how yours compares and edit accordingly.
Use AI checker tools
AI content detector tools review content to analyze whether it’s been AI-generated. This can be useful to ensure Google doesn’t pick up your content as spam or to see how human your content sounds after editing.
Use these tools with a pinch of salt, though. They reportedly classed the US Constitution as written by bots, so they’re not always accurate.
Alt text: Google SearchLiaison explains its stance on AI and automatically-generated content in a post on X.
If your text is flagging up as “AI-generated” — even after editing — have another read-through and pick out any sentences that sound generic or bland. Use this alongside other AI tools, like Grammarly or Wordtune, that can help you rewrite sentences or suggest ways to improve for clarity.
Some things to remember when working with AI
Using AI to craft content isn’t foolproof, so remember these points to avoid common pitfalls:
- Consider AI as a “co-writer”: Treat AI as a collaborator rather than a replacement for human creativity and criticality. It can assist and enhance your writing, but it’s not a complete substitute.
- Treat it as a first draft: Expect that you'll need to edit, revise, and add your personal touch to make AI-generated content truly yours.
- Fact-check your content: It’s a good idea to always verify the accuracy of the information provided by AI to avoid incorrect or outdated data.
- Check recency of information: AI models are trained on data up to a certain date, so make sure you check your work against recent information.
- Avoid algorithmic bias: AI can be influenced by training data and the most prevalent information available. Read through any AI-generated text critically and consider cultural, social, environmental, and political nuances relevant to you and your topic. Be sure to consider diverse perspectives, too.
- AI doesn't add anything new: Since AI pulls information from existing material, it’s not adding any new insight or perspectives to the conversation. This is where human writing incorporated into AI-generated content can shine through, adding new perspectives and initiating exciting conversations.
In a world where AI is becoming an integral part of content creation, maintaining your voice and humanizing your content is essential. We've discussed strategies to achieve this — from infusing your content with personal experiences and emotions to using AI as a research assistant.
Remember, AI is a powerful ally, but your creativity and authenticity will set your content apart. By following these tips and being mindful of AI's limitations, you can create content that resonates with your audience and maintains your unique voice.
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