? The Future of Digital Copywriting Using AI & Emotional Intelligence

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Explore the cutting-edge synergy of AI and emotional intelligence in digital copywriting, shaping the future of communication.

IE 391: The Future of Digital Copywriting Using AI & Emotional Intelligence

The Future of Digital Copywriting Using AI & Emotional Intelligence with Nick Usborne

Nick Usborne has been a copywriter since 1979 and has over 45 years of experience. He has been at the forefront of the World Wide Web, blogging, social media, and now artificial intelligence (AI).

He has been a copywriter for many companies and has blogging experience. His coffee blog of 16 years, The Coffee Detective, has 1600 pages of information about coffee-making equipment and making coffee. He also has one about mushrooms and fungi.

What is the difference between digital copywriting and content marketing?

Copywriting is sales writing including sales emails, landing pages, and product sales pages. It is persuasive writing.

Content writing includes things that share information but are not selling. For example, his blog posts about how to make coffee with a French press or how to choose coffee beans, are examples of content.

There could be monetization or advertising on the page but it is still content writing rather than copywriting. As bloggers, we need to make sure we are diversifying our income with our own products and services so understanding how to create a sales page with persuasive writing is important.

What are the benefits of using AI in digital copywriting?

Nick uses AI in both content creation and copywriting. Once you understand and get used to using AI, you will find that it dramatically decreases your time in writing.

You can create content in a fraction of the time, particularly when you find yourself looking at a blank sheet of paper with writer’s block. You go for a walk, have a cookie, or make a cup of coffee. All of the sudden, the blank page has taken you an hour.

AI is like having the most knowledgeable assistant in the world sitting with you at your desk. You can ask it anything and brainstorm with it. You can tell AI what you write about and ask for suggestions on what to write about.

If they are topics you have already written about, you can ask again in a different way and ask for some unusual things. You might look at a list of 10 non-obvious things AI comes up with and find two that make sense for you. Then, you tell AI to write you an Ad Line for one of them.

You are collaborating with a super smart intern, getting them to do the research, doing some brainstorming, asking for topic ideas, and perhaps even getting AI to write the first draft of 500-600 words on your topic.

If you are requesting AI to create the body of content or a sales page for you, you will need to give it much more information. You might copy and paste someone else’s email into AI and ask AI to look at the flow and structure of that email to put together an email that is similar but on your topic.

You could also give AI an avatar of the kind of person/audience you are writing to, and show AI things you have written so it knows your writing style and copies it.

Some people push back on AI because they think it will be flat, boring, robotic, and stuffy. It can be but not if you study, put work into it, and give AI detailed prompts to help you.

Finally, you need to add emotional intelligence. AI is better than most of us at most things. It is the most knowledgeable partner you will ever chat with but it doesn’t have firsthand emotions.

It has never walked on the beach and felt the sand between its toes. It has never eaten ice cream and doesn’t know what brain freeze is. It has never been with friends having a beer or a coffee.

While it can read a descriptive love story, books about love, excitement, fear, hate, pride, and whatever, it has never really felt them. You can see this in the output AI gives.

Nick uses AI the best he can. He might ask it to be a bit more conversational, more accessible, more emotional, or pull some heartstrings with a story.

AI can never go the final mile though. Nick does a final edit to put in real human emotions and the nuances of emotions. It can be a small story, an anecdote you share with a friend over coffee or a tiny story that can move us deeply. AI cannot do that so Nick weaves them in.

Blogging can be a huge time suck. AI helps you generate content that saves time. If you get a blog post you love, you can ask AI to write you 20 tweets or Facebook posts to support it.

You will still need to review, edit, and add emotional support at the end to make the writing feel more human and connect with your readers emotionally.

People often think of AI as a machine. They tell it what to do and it does it. Think of it as an assistant and use it to brainstorm and get more accomplished.

What AI tools do you recommend?

Nick uses the paid version of ChatGPT because you can create a custom GPT. For his writing courses, he has fed GPT thousands of pages of transcripts and writings on the topic of artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence. He uses that a lot to draw on the topic.

He sometimes uses Google’s Gemini as he finds the output a little more conversational and chattier.

He uses Claude 3.

Perplexity is another option and it cites the resources it uses.

When you give AI your writings, it can use them as a file to be able to go back to in addition to Google. It pulls from your own content. AI is being fed every book and website on the planet so it has a huge database. When you create your own GPT, it builds on your knowledge as well as pulling from everywhere else.

It might be better to use the term collaborator instead of assistant. Some people see AI as the enemy to destroy their job or has horrible robotic output. Some points could be valid so they have an adversarial relationship with AI. Those views stop you from using AI in a positive manner to see how much you can collaborate.

There are tremendous benefits to using AI in terms of productivity. For example, sometimes you write stuff you are unhappy with. You can put that into AI and have it look for where the problem is or rewrite it to sound better.

It is almost a mindset shift. Jenny has been a blogger since 2009 and felt like she might be breaking the rules. She started using AI by being careful that she wasn’t taking too much.

AI is a collaborator that will help, brainstorm with you, and give you better information to help you move forward. It speeds up the process of where you are trying to go.

Can you give more examples of emotional intelligence?

We have cognitive intelligence, the tests we took in school to measure our mental abilities. Emotional Intelligence is actually a better indicator of how we will do in life, professionally and personally, with family, friends, and work colleagues.

Emotional Intelligence falls into four domains:

  1. Self-Awareness – How aware are you of your own emotions?
  2. Self-Management – How well do we manage our emotions?
  3. Social Awareness – Do you have empathy for others?
  4. Relational Management – How do you develop relationships with your audience?

Two important things come out of emotional intelligence.

How well do you listen? If you don’t know who you are writing to, how do you know what to say?

The only way to find out who you are writing to is to listen to your audience and what they are saying.  What do they feel? What do they love? What do they hate? What makes them happy or uncomfortable?

The better you understand your audience, the better you will communicate with them. Most of us are terrible listeners. There is always one person who won’t stop talking.

The worst thing is when you are having a conversation with someone that you know isn’t really listening. They are waiting for you to stop talking so they can tell you what they think. The better you are as a listener, the better your writing will be.

Empathy is walking in another person’s shoes, seeing the world through their eyes, and respecting that. If you have very different views from someone on something, you can either fight about it or recognize that the other person has valid viewpoints.

You can empathize with them and that will make writing to them much more powerful because you won’t feel adversarial. If you have listened and are empathetic, the reader will not feel beat up but understood.

Copywriting has always needed to include emotional intelligence but it is even more important when using AI so the writing output is not robotic and repetitive.

Don’t fall into the “sameness trap.” If two people have a blog on the same topic and are both using ChatGPT along with the same top prompts they are seeing, the output will inevitably be similar. Your blog will sound like your competitor’s blog.

You don’t want to create generic text. By applying emotional intelligence, you are differentiating yourself and creating content that appeals more at an emotional level to your audience.

Food bloggers can run into this. For years, people have been saying to get rid of the stories. That will only make you like every other food blogger.

The ones that are telling the stories are connecting with their audience. If someone is just wanting your recipe, that may not be your person. You should be writing for the person that you want to continue reading your blog and come back for more.

It sets you apart. Stories are a fast and simple way to connect with people emotionally. People are more likely to continue to read your content and buy your stuff.

Write for the right audience and not for simple page views.  Use SEO where appropriate but also weave in stories, make them more shareable, and attach videos. Even if the page doesn’t rank well, it might still do well with shareability and audience engagement.

If you are using AI too much, your blog will be robotic. Share things behind the curtain and be more present with your audience. Step out so people feel the person and not just AI-generated text.

You have to get in front of your audience so they know who you are. They will connect to your voice and your mannerisms through your podcasts.

If you are comfortable with video content, it speeds up the process of the “like-know-and trust” factor of your audience.

It may not be easy or perfect but you can practice to make it better. To be imperfect is to be human.

Copywriters Guide to Writing Better AI Prompts

This guide includes writing prompts to get you started. It includes dozens of prompts for emails, blog posts, newsletters, white papers, and speeches. It is a starter pack to help you get started and more comfortable with AI as a collaborator.

 

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