How to Use A.I. to Turn Content Briefs Into Polished Blog Posts

Jimmy Daly
November 17, 2022

Writer is now an official Superpath partner! Its A.I. writing platform offers a suite of features to power smarter, faster work. Superpath members can get 20% off enterprise plans—just let them know you came from Superpath. By the way, the following post was written with Writer. 🙂

When you sit down to write a blog post, you probably have a good idea of what you want to say. But getting from that idea to a finished, polished article can be a bit of a slog.

Enter Writer's A.I. This handy tool can take a content brief and turn it into a finished, polished article. And it does it fast.

How does it work? Well, first you need to create a content brief. This is just a document that outlines what you want to say in your article. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like.

Once you have your brief, you just upload it into Writer's A.I. and the tool will get to work. It will generate a finished article based on your brief. And it will do it in a fraction of the time it would take you to write the article yourself. Here's Writer CEO May Habib explaining how it works.

May Habib: Hi, everybody. I'm May, the co-founder of Writer, an AI writing platform for teams. We are doing a series of tutorial videos with Jimmy from Superpath to teach folks how best to use Writer for content acceleration.

Jimmy Daly: Cool. Next, May, we're going to talk about creating blog posts, which is something we teased in the prior video. I think this is one of those areas where AI actually maybe gets a bad reputation because people have this expectation that you can give it minimal input, like one keyword, and then expect a 1,500 word article back. And then when that doesn't work very well, they say like, "AI's not that great. This isn't a very good." So I'm curious how you approach this, how Writer handles this kind of thing, and what kind of training needs to go into it to make sure that you're getting good outputs?

May Habib: Yeah. Awesome, Jimmy. Great questions. So we are not about Frankenstein sign content here. So this is definitely not a blog post from keyword land at Writer. So let's talk about first what comes out of the box. Right now, you go to Writer.com and sign up, what comes out of the box? And then we can talk about the kind of training and fine tuning that more advanced teams use. Let me share my screen and walk through a flow that's really typical for folks who work on top of funnel content. So we have an SEO brief. Innovation Refunds is an amazing, very innovative customer, has done amazing stuff with Writer. And so this is very typical to the kind of brief that folks will get either from their agency or from a tool or from a content strategist or an SEO strategist.

So in Writer we've got two posts that help folks write blogs, blog posts. So there is blog post just to generate content from a headline, a summary and specific sections. But for folks who have this type of briefing work done, we highly recommend starting with a much more detailed blog post builder. And so let me show you and walk you through what we can do with this. So let's say we've got here a title on a long tail keyword for the employee retention tax credit. So actually a pretty competitive keyword. My SEO keyword here is employee tax retention credit. So I let Writer know that that is what I'm optimizing for. And I get Writer's outline first. So Writer will automatically say, "I think you should, based on this SEO keyword, set up a blog post that's got these five sections." So what it is, why is it beneficial, how do you know if you qualify, how do you apply, and what are some common mistakes to avoid?

Now when I go into my template here, I've actually got a bunch of secondary keywords. Now in this particular template that I've got, I don't have some of the H2s and sometimes H3s that I might have. So I'm going to make some of those up. But I'm going to walk folks through how you can get as granular as that H2 and H3 in Writer. So I like all of these. And when it comes to, let's see, these secondary keywords, I'm actually going to click key points next and then put them into the H2s manually. So I like that order, very chronological and complete. And Writer is now going to take that outline and create an even more detailed outline. And so this is where information gain gets added. So Writer's going to take the first pass at the information gain, and what our content marketing customers do is it's at this stage where the stats, the incremental information gain relative to other pieces that are ranking for that content and where their secondary keywords come into play.

So let's read this together. So what is the employee retention tax credit? So it was that first bullet, that first section, right? Because we didn't edit what Writer suggested. It breaks down into a paragraph about what it is, who it's for, the details of what wages it repays, very specific on the tax, the fact that it's refundable, and it's available for both nonprofit and profit employers. Then here, I can by the way, add a point, edit any of these, or move any of these to be in a different order if actually I want to say the negative thing after I say the positive thing. In the second paragraph, I actually think this is a repetitive point, so I'm going to remove that. And that will happen, right? As you look at the logic, you might be like, well, this is maybe overlapping logic or this feels too specific to a point that we've made already.

And this is where AI helping people write first drafts... This is where the rubber meets the road. Because if you're not correcting that logic and actually steering the AI, you're going to get stuff that you have to kind of over-edit and over-fit at the drafting stage. And so this is where the bulk of what work is needed for a great blog post happens. So people go through point by point. If I hate all of these points, by the way, I can actually just regenerate all of them and get a second set of points to engage with. So you can see actually that it rephrased a couple of them, but it kept them largely the same, because it's still very much... We are in a very basic kind of territory in terms of there are only so many things that you can say about just the overview of that tax credit.

So quotes, stats, logic, secondary keywords, all get added in here at this point. You can add additional points, you can regenerate all the points, you can change the order of them, you can add completely new ideas. And then we create our draft. So in a writing process, whereas the traditional way of writing goes from brief to outline to then painstakingly going paragraph to paragraph, this is a bit of a different flow of you do all of the logic and that detailed outline first, and Writer really strings the ideas together in a holistic way.

Jimmy Daly: That's cool. I appreciate that it's an iterative process.

May Habib: Yeah. Yes.

Jimmy Daly: Because it forces you to think exactly as if you were writing it except faster.

May Habib: Yeah, exactly. Right. And we've got folks who then will like some paragraphs, like some sections, bring it into their editor, then go back and generate others. So it definitely is really helpful. Now, the simpler way, certainly for SEO, you want to use blog builder, absolutely. But let's say you're writing something for an internal blog or a SharePoint or something internal, and it doesn't have to be as... you're not gunning for those SERPs, the simple blog builder is really easy too. Let's actually go back to the Intuit resource center and say I've got... This is all quite SEO specific too, but maybe this one, just as an example. So in my editor here, this is my headline. The summary is help small business owners develop business plans. And then we're going to have sections around why it's important to have a business plan, the essential elements of business plans, and then maybe how to get the most out of the business plan. Basically, you have a business plan, now what?

And let's see, this might be interesting for folks to see how smart Writer can be. And of course you can add another section. The default is that three-paragraph format. And so I'll use this one when I'm really trying to get a shorter blog post or we're introducing a team member or just trying to get four, 500 words of content in a much faster period of time.

Jimmy Daly: I like that. I'm going to use this to write the blog post that accompany these videos on the Superpath blog.

May Habib: Oh, amazing. I love that. So check this out. This is by no means not dense and not great. It's not nearly as detailed and their aren't H3s in this blog post. Now, Jimmy, you asked me at the very beginning about training. And so this is exactly where, for larger teams, so let's say teams that have got five to 10 content people, and a lot of our customers look like that, the blog posts they write for their internal employee brand sites for example, look and feel a certain way. They are a certain length. They always have a quote from the employee and the person's team. They always have information on how to join that team, for example. And so the training allows us to take example content and actually fine-tune that same template.

Jimmy Daly: That's cool.

May Habib: So we've got customers who will then have, in addition to the blog post builder that comes out of the box and this generate a blog post from an outline, it will be things like CoverMyMeds' internal employee blog or the UiPath internal X and Y, Qualtrics Comm's A, B, and C. So even just the titles of the templates reflect what people are actually creating in a more regular way. And the content reflects what the business is regularly trying to produce in a more specific way than what comes out of the box.

Jimmy Daly: Yeah, yeah. That's really cool, really interesting. I feel like I have a much clearer understanding of how you might go from generating some ideas, putting together a brief, which almost everybody does for content, the iterative process of building the piece, the structure, the feel of it, and then actually getting an article. Which I would imagine some teams, they take it, they do some editing, like you said, maybe they put some sections of it back into Writer until they refine it to the point where it's exactly what they wanted. And I guess I'm sort of harping on this idea of it's not magic. The inputs affect the output. And in an interesting way, I feel like inputs are sort of your custom stamp on all of this work, right? Your own insight, subject matter expertise.

May Habib: Absolutely. Yeah.

Jimmy Daly: All the kind of subjective things that are of hard to quantify, that's your opportunity to put that stuff in the writing.

May Habib: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it's almost like... It's really two levels of inputs. It's like very tactically inputs as in what does the user put in the left side of this interface? And then there are inputs capital I, right? We're going to talk more about this, your brand guidelines, your terminology, your brand voice, what you use to train Writer. So it really is a next gen of thinking about content in this very scaled way. And we've seen folks just really turbocharge the impact that content can have on the entire marketing organization when it's the marketing team that is really spearheading thinking about content in this more scaled way.

Jimmy Daly: Love it. And speaking of turbocharging, the next thing we're going to talk about is how to get the content to your readers. So we'll talk a little about distribution in the next video, and we'll see you there.

Okay, cool. There you go. Thank you so much, May, and your team over at Writer for being such a great partner to us at Superpath. You're building an awesome product. We really appreciate you spending time to help us get up and running with it. And frankly, your support is what helps us keep this community free. So we really are grateful for that. For those watching, if you do want to learn more and give Writer a try, go to Writer.com. There's a couple of different plans you can choose from. There's also a free tier if you just want to kick the tires. So Writer.com. Thanks so much for watching, and thanks so much to the team at Writer for your support. Take care, everybody.

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