How to choose an AI writing product
There’s a ton of AI writing products out there, with more added every week.
How can you possibly pick the right one?
Well, here are some thoughts.
At the AI for Writers Summit at the end of March 2023, Mike Kaput from Marketing AI Institute presented a list of writing tools.
He briefly summed up 20 AI products from co:here to Writer.
After hearing about six or eight products that all sounded rather similar, a question jumped to mind:
But which of these do I really need?
If I already have ChatGPT Plus, do I really need Writer?
Will I get anything from adding GlossAI to my AI tech stack?
In other words, which of all these AI writing products are complementary and which are competitive?
Several other people I was chatting with agreed they’d like to see these products positioned more precisely in the market space for AI.
So I posed this question to Mike on LinkedIn
“You just asked the multi-million dollar question,” replied Mike.
“I wish I had a more concrete answer.
“But it requires some messy and sometimes inefficient experimentation to test a range of tools and find which ones work best for you.
“At any given time, we’re probably paying for three to five writing AI tools.”
He said there are two main reasons for using several different tools:
- Overlap: While many products all do some things, only one may do something so valuable it’s worth paying for
- Redundancy: You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket
“We expect some of these tools to go away eventually as the market consolidates and big platforms inject some of these capabilities into their products,” says Mike.
“So, we don’t want to get too reliant on a single tool.”
That’s a realistic answer in a time of such frenzied development.
An AI shakeout will happen.
And many must-have AI writing features will be added to mainstream products like Microsoft Word and GDocs.
We have to try a few products for ourselves
But that’s in the future. For now, I think the takeaway is there are no easy answers.
And that means we need to try out a few AI writing tools to see what they do.
Of course, the larger your team, the easier this can be to manage.
Maybe you can assign all that R&D to Sidney. Give her a few days to play around with 10 products and report back on which ones you should all try.
Or maybe everyone takes one Friday afternoon to play around with AI and compare notes.
However you manage it, it’s worth getting some hands-on experience with some of the leading AI writing tools.
In my humble opinion: three AI writing tools to start with
As a one-person writing shop, I don’t have time to test out 20 or 50 different AI writing products.
That means I tend to stick to the mainstream… as mainstream as anything can be after just a few weeks on the market.
So here are my top three subjective suggestions for AI writing products to try.
ChatGPT: the front end to the original language model that many other products are built on.
ChatGPT helps me brainstorm, get a quick primer on an area that’s new to me, and figure out questions to ask experts.
I’ve even used it to write an entire white paper, just to see if it could do it.
The free version is pretty good, but you sometimes get locked out.
So I signed up for ChatGPT Plus as soon as I could. For $20 a month, that’s nothing.
You can ask ChatGPT to plan a campaign, write a blog post, write Tweets, or anything else under the sun.
And I figure everything I learn from prompting ChatGPT will be applicable to any other AI I ever use.
Wordtune: a simple solution that does one thing, rewrite text.
You can use Wordtune to make any passage more casual, more formal, longer or shorter.
And I have to admit, one of those alternate versions often sounds better than my originals. So this can save a lot of time polishing up a draft.
According to many users, Wordtune is like asking a group of fellow writers for rewrites and then combining ideas from several of them to create the best.
There’s a free version with 10 rewrites a day, which you can use up pretty fast. But it’s worth a try, especially if you just want to dip your toes in the water.
You’ll likely be impressed with what AI can do to improve your phrasing.
The paid version with unlimited rewrites is only $10 a month.
Writer: a polished system with unique features to help a team speak with the same voice while they draft and edit content with AI.
Some of these features:
• Set up your style guide in Writer so it tells you if you break a rule
• Get real-time tips à la Grammarly
• Use templates for different types of content
And especially useful for white papers, Claim Detection highlights any claim presented without any backup.
What a cool thing to automate!
All in all, I think of Writer as a “skin” around AI specifically designed for professional writers and other corporate teams.
The interface is modern and pleasant, far better than ChatGPT’s austere textbox.
As a one-person shop, some of the team features may be overkill for me. So I’m playing with the free version for now.
But at only $18.95 a month per writer, Writer should be on your shortlist of products to test drive.
These three products aren’t the end-all and be-all of AI writing tools.
These are just a small sample of freebies you can try out today.
You may well have some other products you’ve already tried and you can’t live without. That’s fine.
The shortlist above is for people still on the sidelines with AI. So why not jump in this week?
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