Do I Really Have To Write A Blog??

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I don’t enjoy writing. I’m not good at it. I thought when I became a web designer that I would never have to be a writer again. Long gone were the days of spending hours on essays in high school and college, staring blankly at the screen hoping for the next sentence to magically pop in my head. Now I just make really good websites. Anytime I would hear about somebody writing a blog or even adding a blog to a website I would think, I’m so glad I don’t have to do that, nobody really would be interested in anything I’d have to say anyway.

Now here we are, in the days where SEO reigns and one big way to start ranking higher in the all-important Google search is to add content to your website. You know, make the website thicker and richer with more keywords and show that you know what you’re talking about when Google bots scroll your site. So…you mean I do have to write again? Ugh.

Where to start? Well I wanted to try writing a post that came truly just from me. I’m hoping to get used to writing again and finding my own voice. (The word ‘hoping’ might be a stretch. It’s possible that I’m not really excited about this yet 😉 ) I don’t have anything insightful for this post to share about useful website stats, or “The Five Best Things To Do To Make Your Website Perfect”. Just simply me writing about how I don’t like to write. The more I ponder on it, the more I think that’s ok. It’s better to be yourself and be transparent about your weaknesses than to use AI to make it look like you know everything there is to know.

Speaking of AI, at first I was genuinely concerned that it would take over the whole world. Or at least the industry I work in. Then came the hopeful stage where I started to think, “Oh! Now I can use AI to help me write, maybe even get it to do all the writing for me!” I’ve even spent hundreds of dollars on AI technology thinking it would help write content for me. And it does. But you can tell the difference. It doesn’t sound fully human (yet). I’ve posted blogs written mostly by AI and I even cringe reading some of them because they sound robotic and unauthentic. There’s just nothing quite like a human writer. Let me give you an example.

I’m learning the importance of being true to yourself in all areas of life. Applying that to blog writing for me will mean bringing my own thoughts and experiences to the table instead of tons of cold facts and stats and well-worded sentences about what I think would be able to compete with all the information out there today. (Darn it, I was really hoping I could take the easy way out with having AI write my blogs!!) The problem is, there is too much information out there. How can I compete with it all? I can bring some of it to my small corner of the internet, but constantly giving the all-authoritative word on web design or any topic…it’s not possible. I would rather feel confident that what I’m writing is real than have a nagging feeling that what I’m putting out there is completely generated by a robot. Being authentic matters. I might only resonate with a few people, and that’s ok. But the feeling of true relatability and connection, that feeling of trust, that’s all irreplaceable.

Now here’s where the example gets interesting. I asked ChatGPT to write a paragraph about what I just wrote. The importance of being authentic. Here’s what I got:

“In today’s digital landscape, characterized by an overwhelming deluge of information, authenticity emerges as a beacon of trust and engagement. Amidst the countless voices and narratives vying for attention, authentic content cuts through the noise, offering readers a genuine, relatable experience. This authenticity fosters a deeper connection between writer and reader, establishing a foundation of trust that is essential in an era where skepticism towards online content is rampant. By prioritizing authenticity, bloggers and content creators not only differentiate themselves but also cultivate a loyal community that values transparency and sincerity. In essence, in the vast ocean of information that defines our current age, authenticity acts as both an anchor and a lighthouse, grounding content in truth while guiding readers toward meaningful, engaging experiences.”

Every word of that is true! However, you can really feel the difference in the tone. I didn’t use all the beautiful, descriptive words. I could, I actually love vocabulary and linguistics, even the history of words. But that’s not my normal, everyday speaking voice. (I could probably write a whole blog post on the difference between my speech and my 12 year old’s complete assimilation into the current slang culture and how she’s missing out on the beauty of real words). Also, I probably didn’t structure my paragraph nearly as well or have every comma in place. But something about the Chat GPT paragraph just feels scripted and distant. It’s almost an overuse of the flowery phrases…vast oceans where authenticity is both an anchor and lighthouse…cheeseballs. Maybe if I were curled up on a rainy Sunday afternoon reading a good book, but not for a web design blog, imho (‘in my humble opinion’, for anyone who doesn’t have the pre-teen at home lol). I really, truly believe there is a place for AI, it is amazing at helping with organization and workflow and brainstorming. But when it comes to writing blogs, I don’t think it can replace the voice of a real person. It might sound great on a corporate website, but for my small business approach, it’s not going to cut it. I won’t pretend that it’s really nice to know everything is well-written, spelled correctly, and grammatically correct when you use AI, but it’s also not going to have that realness.

If you find yourself in a similar place where you have to start adding a blog to your website, or you are faced with the option of using AI where your own voice might resonate more, take this leap with me. It’s scary putting my real voice out there, I’m battling the “what if I sound dumb” mind game. But you know it’s also a relief that I don’t have to try to keep up appearances. No one is going to read this and wonder if I used AI to write it! Somewhere in this world there is someone who is in the same place as I am, and if they find me and relate, that feeling will be worth it. But…can I also say again that I’m really disappointed?! I had just gotten to the place of being excited that AI could do all the writing that I don’t like doing! Writing and I have to become better acquainted once more. So here’s to learning how to love again.

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