When do you need human writing, and when AI?

AI isn't the magic answer to your content problem; the pros and cons, and when to add a real writer

We now know the power of generative AI. But it's good to realize that AI and ChatGPT are not the magic answer to your content problem. Typing in a prompt, copy-paste-polish the output, and publishing that as content of your own will not move your needle.

So, when do you choose to use AI, and when do you need human writing skills?

  • AI does the writing, you do, um…, nothing,
  • AI does the writing, you do the editing,
  • Or, my preferred option, you do the writing with AI as your wingman.

Let me explain the pros and cons of all options for you. 

Note: To keep things clear, I've left out the importance of choosing the right visual for your content. That's absolutely human work. AI can generate it; however, what visual to use to get the first attention and engagement, is still you. 


Let AI do all the writing for you

Letting AI write for you is fast, super fast. Just a few prompts, click and go. Copy-paste-publish, and you’re done. A marketers’ and finance people’s wet dream. There are two downsides, next to the lack of fact-checking and data security and privacy of your content when you use AI.

  1. Easy to detect. We're not stupid; we know how to recognize AI copy by now. The eight elements to recognize AI content: no real intro, immediate dive into the listicle; listicles or similar structure; the text feels generic; no first-person point of view, no sources or credits; no bias or personality in the copy; too clean copy; no consistency between the multiple posts.
  2. ChatGPT is a generative AI. In short, it’s a language model with a chat-like interface that works based on probabilities. This means ChatGPT doesn’t give you genuinely new insights, strategies, or ideas.


Let AI do the writing, you do the editing

To make the AI output more your own, first, you can have AI write in your brand voice. You can create a prompt to discover yours to apply that to the copy written by AI.

Still, then, you need some editing to smooth out the wrinkles. 

From my own experience, this can take some serious time. With the devil in the details, making content not written by you appear to be yours is a lot of meticulous work.

It’s up to you to decide if this works for you. I’m a decent writer. I love the creative process, and by writing a lot, it’s fast and easy for me. If you’re an awful writer, you hate it and always have writer's block, then this is a viable option.


You do the writing, AI as a wingman

This is my favorite relationship with ChatGPT. You do the outline of your content piece, the objective, the storyline and structure, and the topics you want to touch. You define the ‘what’s in it for me’ for the reader, the key takeaway for them, and what they can learn.

Then, you jump to AI, do the research, play, and fool around with some prompts. The best part of generative AI is that it has no bias, judgments, or view of its own. ChatGPT can help you by giving rational arguments. Together, you can sharpen your thinking, broaden your mind, and come up with a different approach.

Get the output, use that output to create new output, tune, and tweak. 

While you flirt a bit more with ChatGPT, you keep the objective and key takeaways of the copy in mind.

During my writing in Word, I invite Grammarly Pro and DeepL to the game — two other AI tools to improve my writing greatly.

You can speed up and save time while you keep the copy human with all its nuances to engage and connect with your audience. Two other big advantages of this way of working: you do the fact-checking while you work, and it’s already in your brand voice.



You choose the AI or human writing combination that best suits your brand and situation. There is no good or bad; all options have pros and cons.

Just don’t forget the golden rule for content: add value to your reader. It’s about them, not about you. What’s in it for them? What can they learn?


AI writing (+ editing) pros

  • Fast and huge time savings
  • You don't need a writer
  • Sort of free; all you need is a prompt and maybe the paid ChatGPT version
  • Easy to scale and create multiple variations for AB testing
  • A great option for that boring functional copy that doesn’t need to be very engaging or on brand
  • Did I mention fast already?


AI writing  (+editing) cons

  • Generative, based on probability, no new insights
  • No point of view
  • No personality with human nuances for engagement
  • Easy to recognize
  • What you do, your competitor can do as well
  • No creativity
  • Not in your brand voice
  • No fact-checking
  • The editing can take significant time
  • When caught that it's AI, you appear lazy, cutting corners, and that you don’t really care


Human writing pros

  • Point of view and personality
  • Engagement and connection
  • Keeps on track for the objective of the copy
  • Keeps the audience in mind; what’s in it for them
  • Fact-checking
  • Can speed up using AI


Human writing cons

  • You need a writer
  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Resources, great content producers, and writers are scarce