A successful content marketing operation needs three things — a good strategy, a good writer, and a good SEO assistant. Luckily, technology has advanced and we now have AI writers at our disposal.
Let’s just say it — writers can be excessively proud people (this writer certainly can). They often believe they don’t need or benefit from outside assistance, from interfering editors to spell-checkers that keep defaulting to the wrong language.
However, even the most self-reliant or awkward of scribes already uses technical tools to ply their trade. Word’s built-in error-correcting abilities, reputable online dictionaries and of course, the omnipotent research tool that is Google (other search engines are available) are all examples of writers’ tools we depend upon.
In the 21st century, there has been an explosion of innovation in the creation of tools to aid the writer, by complementing, rather than substituting for, creativity. These apps speed up the process of creation, reduce errors, improve presentation, and prepare content for online effectiveness.
Our top pick: Surfer
Okay, we’ll cut to the chase. Our favorite tool for AI copywriting has to be Surfer.
If you’ve been following Marketer Milk for some time, you’d know that we’ve been promoting Surfer for a long time.
We use it to get to the top 3 positions in Google for keywords we are going after. Similar to this blog post, we currently rank in the top 3 spots for "ai content writer" with the help of Surfer.
If you want to know why we like Surfer so much, and what we believe are some other great AI writer tools (there are a few you definitely need to check out below), then keep reading!
Can AI replace writers?
The simple answer is no — AI can prove highly convincing at sourcing and repurposing factual content from the internet. What it can’t do is use creativity to build this content into a coherent and readable story (at least, not yet). It’s also unlikely to throw in a surprising metaphor, oblique thought, or side-splitting joke.
What AI can do is create a scaffold upon which to build a narrative. If you’re generating a lot of content to feed the demands of a daily blog, or generating multiple variations of a landing page, AI can speed up the process significantly. It can also boost your SEO performance and nudge you towards more effective style.
With the above caveats in mind, we’ve looked at 11 of the best such tools, ranging from grammar checkers to AI content creators. We’ll give you a rundown of some helpful software that, if used properly, will improve your writing, and make it more profitable.
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The best AI content writers in 2023
Here are our top picks for the best AI writing software to try this year.
- Surfer (best for generating SEO-optimized AI content
- Jasper AI (best for startups)
- Writesonic (best for social media posts)
- Writer (best for enterprises)
- Hypotenuse AI (best for product descriptions)
- Rytr (best for value)
- Quilbot (best for re-writing content)
- Wordtune (best for editors)
- Grammarly (best for grammar checks)
- Hemmingway Editor (best for simple, direct prose)
- Clearscope (best for SEO)
- (Bonus) ChatGPT
Okay, let’s dive a bit deeper into each AI writing software.
- Best for: Generating SEO-optimized AI content
Surfer AI is arguably the best AI writer on the market right now. Originally starting out a content optimization platform, similar to Clearscope, Surfer now has built in AI content generation capabilities similar to that of Jasper.
You can generate personalized AI content, that goes undetected by AI detectors, and is SEO optimized — giving you the highest likelihood of ranking in Google.
Popular blogger, Adam Enfroy, did a video creating a blog post with 10 different AI writing tools and Surfer came out on top as #1.
Surfer has a wide-ranging suite of content outlining features all designed to push your content up the search engine rankings. It even includes some AI-written content generation (courtesy of Jasper) in addition to its SEO focus.
Surfer uses a red/amber/green scoring system with marks out of 100, based on a range of variables including word choice, sentence length, headers, image content, word count and more. It provides rankings of existing keywords and their frequency, allowing you to spot content gaps your writers can fill. You’ll even see cost per click for Google Adwords while researching SEO terms to include.
The app scores very highly for integrations and you can build your own with its custom API. There’s even a Chrome browser extension to help you easily analyze webpages when doing a competitor analysis. Clients include Viacom, FedEx and Qantas, and Surfer SEO does seem designed with larger corporations in mind.
Pricing is surprisingly reasonably, given the app’s versatility. The Essential' plan starts at $89 per month, giving you 15 content editor credits and 2 user profiles. The 'Advanced' plan is their best bang for your buck at $179 per month with 45 content editor credits and 5 user profiles. But if decide to buy annual plans you can save up to $600 per year. Surfer also has a 7-day money back guarantee if you decide it's not for you. You can check out all the pricing options here.
2. Jasper AI
- Best for: Blog posts and long-form content
The creators of Jasper, which is perhaps the most popular AI content-writing app, are victims of their own success. Once they had secured more than 350,000 users, Marvel Studios sent them a cease-and-desist letter. At that time, their AI was known as Jarvis, inspired by Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man)’s virtual assistant. Thus, Jasper was rechristened.
Jasper, this writer has to admit, is remarkably good at creating copy, in a range of styles and tones, on any topic you can imagine. Using OpenAI’s GPT-3 natural language processing, its creators claim Jasper has “read” 10% of the internet in order to inform its writing ability with machine learning.
How well does Jasper work? I tasked Jasper with writing 40 words about AI in business automation. Here’s what it came up with:
AI is the next step in business automation. AI had been instrumental in improving business processes. AI can be deployed to an organization’s business process for a particular strategic purpose to increase efficiencies, cut costs and improve customer service.
This is an impressive start, although it will still need human intervention to make the copy flow better and appear less stilted. However, Jasper is intended as a tool to create early drafts for later improvement by human copywriters.
Jasper boasts a simple, intuitive interface, is inexpensive to implement, and can speed up the creation of basic copy — putting an end to writer’s block. The tool also has templates that you can use for product descriptions, blog posts, ad copy, AIDA-formatted landing pages, and more. Jasper, which has garnered over 5000 5-star product reviews, won’t replace professional copywriters, but it will keep those vital SEO page scores high and can help bloggers speed up their workflow.
In terms of pricing, Jasper has two modes. There’s a Starter plan for short content (priced per word from $29 for 20,000 to $499 for a million words). Then there’s Boss Mode for longer content ($59 to $279 per month with custom pricing for over 300,000 words).
You can get your first 10,000 words for free by clicking here!
- Best for: Ad and social media content
AI writing assistant Writesonic boasts more than 5000 five-star reviews. It’s available in 24 languages and describes itself as a writing assistant which can help you generate SEO blog posts, landing pages, articles, ads, and product descriptions. In total, it promises content creation in more than 50 categories. It’s also had positive write-ups in The Verge, Tech Radar, and Entrepreneur, amongst others.
Writesonic requires a little input to understand what you want — namely your product name and a short description (50 words will do). It will then generate multiple versions of content in the category you choose (Instagram post, blog article et cetera). It appears to work well when there’s a tie-in with a season, event, or specific offer.
The testimonials provided on the site stress that Writesonic can generate grammatical content quickly, with multiple versions for A/B testing. There’s also a function to improve your content’s SEO (which could be worth the price of entry alone). The long-form content examples it gives are fine, if a little generic, and would certainly give the novice or time-pressured content writer a head start. The social media content examples are much better — pithy and varied in approach.
New users get 100 free credits so they can try out the software for free. You can generate up to 50,000 words of content for $15 a month and there are three other tiers, including the agency version at $195 monthly, which will generate unlimited content for up to four users.
- Best for: Teams and collaboration
The pithily named Writer describes itself as “the AI writing assistant for teams” and is clearly aimed at a medium to large business or agency, rather than lone scribes working from home. In essence, Writer is an efficiency tool for collaboration. It improves and builds out some of the features of a traditional text editor like Word, adding helpful features and a more intuitive interface.
Functions include autocomplete, grammar checking, autocorrect and clarity assessment. One helpful feature is the library of commonly used snippets writers can paste in. Given that Writer is focused upon collaboration, maintaining a house style is key to its business model. To this end, there’s a host of tools to streamline team working, including a database of approved terminology (vital for tech, legal and financial firms).
Compared to Jasper, you might say that Writer lacks a little personality. Writer’s AI sits in the background making recommendations rather than rewriting copy for you. This might suit writers who want to retain a degree of creative autonomy.
If your business follows a virtual or hybrid model with minimal in-office supervision, Writer could help unify your team. Its use will reassure editors that copy remains professional and accurate across all uses. Top clients include Deloitte, Twitter, Accenture, and Vistaprint.
Writer has a free 14-day trial. There’s a Team plan for just $18 a month. And there's also an enterprise pricing for larger companies or marketing agencies.
- Best for: Ecommerce product descriptions
Named after the longest side of a triangle, Hypotenuse enjoys some elite clients — Vogue, Marie Claire, and Echelon among them. Its creators claim they have collated millions of data points across a range of industries, meaning that their AI writer is already well-versed in the kind of content that counts for each use case.
Hypotenuse asks for keywords to be input as a guide to the type of content it will generate. It generates ai articles, product descriptions, or marketing copy, and has a focus on brand voice, something which can be challenging when employing disparate teams of human copywriters.
A clever piece of sales pitch on their site is a comparison between one AI-generated product description and another written by a human. Browsers are invited to guess which is which. I’ll admit, I guessed wrong (although I would argue that both samples could be improved).
Using Hypotenuse, users have reported up to 38% greater engagement with content. Certainly, it will be easier to generate higher volume using this tool, and more content means more returning visitors. The keyword/topic-based approach might make Hypotenuse the ideal tool for ecommerce sites with a lot of products to describe.
There’s a free trial (something vital for all AI copywriting apps) and pricing is straightforward — $29 per user per month for 100 credits, $59 for 350 credits, and custom pricing for enterprise users.
- Best for: Those on a budget
If I were being mean, I’d dock a point for that product name (but then we’re not doing points, and I’m not all that mean). Plus, Rytr is a fairly impressive piece of software. It’s an AI writing assistant to help you write emails and other short pieces of copy and offers to speed up your workflow tenfold.
Rytr claims to have been used by over 900,000 copywriters, marketers, and entrepreneurs and it has garnered over 1000 positive reviews and a 4.9 score on G2 and TrustPilot. Furthermore, they’ve estimated the cost savings made by clients not employing human copywriters at over $80 million (which rankles a little to this writer, I’ll admit!)
Running the same test that I did with Jasper, setting the tone and use case, and inputting the keywords AI, data and copywriting, here’s what Rytr generated:
Artificial intelligence is the underlying technology that will automate a lot of tasks in the future. For example, AI-powered copywriters would be able to create content for web pages and other media channels.
In a few years, we might not need to hire human writers to generate content. Instead, we will just have to provide an outline or topic and the AI-powered copywriter would do all the work for us.
I’ll try not to take that personally!
This is a very good example of AI-generated content, which flows well, contains an argument, and makes perfect sense. With a few tweaks for style, grammar and originality, it’s publishable. Rytr was very easy to use too. The interface is straightforward and there are features including a plagiarism checker, over 30 languages, and 20 different tones of voice.
The free plan generates 10,000 characters a month, and the paid subscriptions begin at just $9 a month with a $29 monthly charge for unlimited use.
- Best for: Rewording content
Quillbot’s designers seem confident — straight away on the landing page there’s a free test. I gave it the second paragraph of Rytr’s test (why not let the AI’s duke it out?) Unfortunately, despite several attempts on multiple browsers, Quillbot hung indefinitely and did not complete the task.
Assuming this is a one-off glitch, let’s at least look at what Quillbot purports to do. It’s a paraphraser, meaning that it won’t generate entirely new content, but it will rephrase content that’s already completed. Setting aside moral qualms, the app can be used for much more laudable purposes than spinning competitor content.
For instance, you might use it to generate synonyms to avoid repetition in your writing or improve readability with simpler word choice. Quillbot plugs into Word and Chrome so that you can easily use it to gently prompt you as you work. It includes a grammar-checker and a handy summarizer to precis longer pieces.
Quillbot boasts more than 50 million users (possibly including free trials) and a time saving of up to 75%. The free plan gives you up to 125 words per use, and a premium subscription costs just $8.83 monthly when billed annually.
- Best for: Editors
Wordtune also lets you try it out immediately — so let’s give it the same task as Quillbot. I input the last paragraph and in seconds it generated 10 paraphrased rewrites including:
We will likely no longer need to hire human writers to create content; instead, AI-powered copywriters will do all the work for us.
That’s an impressive paraphrase — with extra kudos for knowing how to use a semicolon!
For road-testing multiple versions of sales copy, or creating variants on copy, Wordtune is a real time-saver, and boasts an array of rave testimonials. One writer wrote: “Though my writing's pretty cogent, I'm always running it through Wordtune to find inspiration and better ways to express myself.”
As with most writing tools, Wordtune won’t make you a more original or characterful writer, but it should facilitate and improve the creation of high-quality content. For editors and content managers, it could speed up the process of turning raw copy into online pages significantly. It can also change the tone of a rewrite, shorten, or increase copy length.
For writers, it helpfully plugs straight into Word, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Pricing is very reasonable too at $9.99 a month (billed annually) for single user, and bespoke pricing for teams available upon request.
- Best for: Grammar checks
For many writers, Grammarly needs little introduction. It’s the preeminent tool for analyzing and improving your writing. It offers high-quality feedback on spelling, syntax, vocabulary, readability, and (of course) grammar. In short, Grammarly scours your prose in search of ways in which it can be improved.
Grammarly can be used as a plug-in with many different apps, including Gmail, Word, Facebook, Twitter, and more. It also has a powerful Chrome Extension — what most people end up using.
Its AI will highlight errors and suggest corrections, which you can approve or override. It improves upon Word’s own in-built style tools by going beyond mere grammar and punctuation.
Grammarly identifies redundant words, stylistic inconsistencies, and excess verbosity. If like me, you tend to write epic, serpentine sentences, it will spot that too.
A simple color-coding identifies errors or improvements, so you can see at a glance what kind of suggestion it’s making. The popular app boasts over 30 million daily active users and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Forbes.
Grammarly’s premium plan costs $12 per user monthly. Business pricing begins at $12.50 per user per month but drops to $11.67 per user per month for teams of over 50 people. Enterprise pricing is also available.
10. Hemingway App
- Best for: Simple, direct prose
The other household name in writing analysis is Hemingway, named after the famously concise writer.
If your writing needs to be on point, straightforward and clean, Hemingway will help. Amazingly, it’s free! Hemingway was created by Ben and Adam Long in emulation of their favorite writer. Although there’s a $20 version including PDF exports, offline usability, and instant publish features, the free version is still very worthwhile.
Hemingway highlights negative aspects of style including overlong sentences, passive voice, and excessive adverb use. Its aim is to make your writing communicate as quickly and effectively with the largest readership.
Uniquely, Hemingway awards a readability score, based upon US educational grades. Grade 9 or lower is considered ideal for reaching the widest audience. The interface is exceptionally easy; simply copy and paste your text into the online app and hit return.
A perfectly optimized Hemingway piece might feel too generic and won’t suit all use cases. For instance blog articles or opinion columns, where personal style carries more weight than raw readability, aren’t right for it. However, for more functional writing, Hemingway could prove invaluable.
- Best for: SEO writing & editing
Clearscope is all about SEO, the arcane art of optimizing your content to hit that vital first page of a Google search. As such, it’s perfect for analyzing landing pages, product descriptions, social media content, and more. Some big names swear by it, including Deloitte, Conde Nast, Shopify, and YouTube.
It’s very user-friendly works is relatively simple. You copy and paste your piece into the app, and it breaks it down by keywords, headers, image content, length, and other indicators of good SEO. It then assigns a grade based on their algorithm, so you can quickly tell whether you’ve created a C- stinker, or A+ laser-targeted copy.
Clearscope already knows which keywords work best for your sector and use case and will rank them in terms of value. It does this by analyzing the popular search terms of millions of internet users. It can be integrated with Google Docs or Wordpress (and many other apps) and customer support is unusually good. It’s definitely a solid platform to add to your stack of SEO tools.
The content optimization platform scores a 4.9 on Capterra and is a little pricey (although you should see that expenditure rewarded with much-improved site traffic). Expect to pay $170 a month for 3 users or $350 a month for up to 10.
12. Bonus: ChatGPT
We’re sure you’ve heard of this one.
OpenAI released their ChatGPT towards the end of 2022 and it took the internet by storm. In fact, many of the tools above leverage the same GTP-3 technology provided by OpenAI.
So if you’re looking for a free AI writer (free for now) you should definitely give this one a go.
ChatGPT takes all the information on the internet and spits our completely original content for anything you can think of. From helping you write a blog post to helping you write code, ChatGPT can do it all.
It’s an impressive AI copywriting tool, however you should only use this AI writer to help you with ideation. It’s not a good idea to use ChatGPT to write you a whole blog post as you’ll need to fact check things (it can get facts wrong) and Google doesn’t like bloggers using it to rank in Google.
However, this tool can be great for brainstorming, generating content ideas, helping you when you get stuck during the writing process, and even help you create SEO-optimized content.
As long as you know what prompts to give ChatGPT, you’ll be able to do a lot with it — outside of just using it for short-form content or website copy.
Which is the best AI writing tool?
It’s hard to narrow this down, since the above tools cover a range of writing-related uses, but here are the ones that most stood out:
- Surfer for it's ability to generate great SEO optimized content
- Jasper for its quirky character and well-composed copy
- Writesonic for its speed and versatility as an AI content generator
- Clearscope for its SEO-friendly clarity and efficiency
- Grammarly for its writer-friendly usefulness
There are some other tools like Copy.AI and Frase that we didn't get into. However, these 11 AI writers are the most popular ones on the market right now.
We hope this has proven a helpful rundown and has demonstrated that writers don’t yet have to fear being replaced with machines.
Human scribes aren’t obsolete just yet, even as our advanced AI marketing tools become more and more impressive. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a little competition, is there?
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