It seems like every day a new AI app or integration is being rolled out, furthering the disruption of knowledge work with new ways to automate or speed up the process of content creation and marketing. AI integration is a great way to improve core processes without learning entire new systems: but there’s so much out there. Which are the best AI integrations for blogging and other long-form writing?
In this blog, we’ll examine Google, Microsoft, and WordPress Integrations and determine the pros and cons of each, as well as provide some use-case examples of these exciting new technology innovations that can superpower your blogging and content efforts. As always, with any of these, it’s important to periodically fact-check and verify the accuracy of the information you generate with AI- it can be harmful if errors make it past your eyes.
There are fundamentally two flavors of AI integration: native AI like those seen in Google, WordPress, and Microsoft, and plugins and extensions that run on an external API that can be added into any application, including Google Docs, the online iteration of Office365, or WordPress. They can also be their own platform, as is the case for GetGenie and Writesonic (discussed further below).
While many extensions require the paid ChatGPT API to be able to use, in-house or native AI applications come as part of the suite of applications already– and thus require minimal setup (once they’re rolled out). Then again, extensions follow you throughout the internet– and can thus be applied to a variety of different apps.
Want to learn more about the best AI tools for blogging? In this article, we’ll first examine the best (and most anticipated) AI integrations for blogging that Microsoft, Google, and WordPress have developed, and then we’ll turn to some extensions and AI apps for writing that deliver a similar experience.
In early 2023 Microsoft announced the eventual rollout of its integrated AI assistant, Microsoft Copilot, throughout its 365 (formerly Office 365) suite of applications, including business world powerhouses Word, Excel, Outlook, and more. While currently in early testing stages, this promises to be revolutionary in knowledge work– if the app delivers on everything it promises.
Features highlighted in announcements include the creation of Business Chat, a LLM (large-language model) that integrates across apps to handle prompts like “write an update to email the team about a new project.” While not directly helpful for blogging, lateral integration like this can create more time and space for creative thinking- and empowered writing.
On the generative AI side of things, the March 2023 announcement heralded many features useful to would-be bloggers:
“Copilot in Word writes, edits, summarizes, and creates right alongside you. With only a brief prompt, Copilot in Word will create a first draft for you, bringing in information from across your organization as needed. Copilot can add content to existing documents, summarize text, and rewrite sections or the entire document to make it more concise. You can even get suggested tones—from professional to passionate and casual to thankful—to help you strike the right note.”
The in-document creative capability will be a boon to anyone with writer’s block– or even help get the ball rolling with a full first draft. It appears that Copilot will also be able to pull information across apps to save research time in writing as well.
As of this writing, there is no official rollout date for these AI integrations.
In the last few months, Google rolled out Duet AI for its Workspaces suite of apps, including Docs, Sheets, and more- with the click of a mouse you can prompt the AI assistant within the scope of the docs to write anything from a single sentence to an entire article.
The current AI integration is fairly powerful and able to scrape the internet to find resources: when prompted to write a blog post about AI integrations for blogging (we love a meta use case), it came up with brand-name competitors that often work within Chrome extensions. That said, the blog post it created lacked a thesis or narrative arc and instead felt like a listicle; while some of the blame may be placed on the relatively unspecific prompt, it still bears noting that initial content creation on the part of this AI is flat.
There is, however, a degree of potential in asking the assistant to make an outline for you and fleshing out the outline yourself. This will still save time and add a better sense of organization and planning so you can jump right into writing. You can also brainstorm ideas, or even have it analyze data for you that will speed up the writing process. Even working with the small draft provided has helped shape the scope of this blog post, and while the writing isn’t the highest quality, it is a jumping-off point.
Duet has only really rolled out to Google Docs and Gmail, but Google is forecasting extending its AI partnerships to Sheets and other apps, thus aiding in data cleanup and analysis- and a better ability to pull data for writing purposes.
In early June WordPress announced the integration of the Jetpack AI Assistant into WordPress to create content with a few clicks of a mouse. Like Duet or Copilot, Jetpack is an AI tool for blog writing that helps users create content through prompts or simple mouse clicks– anything from headlines to entire articles, with adjustments for tone, length, and other variables. It also offers the ability to spell and grammar check any user-generated content.
When drafting a blog post in WordPress, start with a backslash “/” and a prompt will come up to use AI; it creates a dialogue box to “Ask Jetpack AI” – when putting in a prompt to create a blog post, the AI program zips through creation, complete with title and a post of several hundred words (posts may become even lengthier with a paid WordPress plan).
After the initial post has been drafted, the AI dialogue box changes to the below:
From here, you have the option to change the tone (the person icon), translate it into assorted languages, or “improve” by summarizing or making the post longer or shorter. This new tool has the potential to make content creation as simple as merely having an idea: or a powerful aid in improving your writing even faster.
Jetpack can also summarize a block of text or proofread it, or even generate a title. In this way, it functions almost exactly like ChatGPT but is seamlessly integrated within the WordPress environment.
Like any of the above tools, AI is still incapable of making any value-based arguments: it is much better suited to generate expository text, or summarize a different text, rather than formulate a thesis and argue for it. As such, when blogging, consider WHAT type of content you’d like to make: if your blogging is arguing for a thesis, then we suggest asking for an outline or an introductory paragraph as opposed to an entire blog post.
Jasper is one of the better-known AI extensions taking the communications world by storm. Both its own website and a Chrome extension, Jasper is billed as “on-brand content wherever you create.”
Jasper boasts the ability to create any type of content – from text in-app to text via the Chrome extension to image creation using its proprietary text-to-image capability. This means it can be a powerful tool for blogging: no matter what program you might use to write, so long as it’s on Chrome, you can tag Jasper to assist in writing. Like other integrations mentioned, Jasper is capable of adjusting the tone– see below examples from their landing page:
Jasper comes with several content templates ranging from Facebook ads to summaries but also will generate whatever you want in its app or with its Jasper Everywhere extensions.
Unfortunately, Jasper offers a very limited free trial before jumping to its $49/month individual plan (and scales up from there) so it’s difficult to test it out fully before commitment. That said, it offers demo videos and its extension certainly showcases all the opportunities it provides.
This allows you to not only blog with AI assistance but draft social copy to market it. Jasper’s holistic approach to communications and marketing makes it particularly appealing for marketing teams or agencies; its costs might make it prohibitive for individuals looking to simply write their blog.
GetGenie is a text-generative AI platform that also features plugins, particularly with WordPress. On its own platform, it needs a few keywords, a single sentence, and a few indications of tone and length preference before generating a full-length blog post with optional SEO attention. The platform first walks you through the creation of a title, then an introduction, and then the rest of the blog post.
It’s very quick to generate and certainly creates a passable blog, but overall it lacks a sharp thesis or sense of value judgment in its composition; what served much better was utilizing GetGenie’s AI to create an outline and structure for a blog post to then flesh out on your own, bringing your thesis and judgments into the writing.
GetGenie allows for 1500 free word credits in its free trial, and then pivots to pricing starting at $15 per month for an individual user and scales up from there. At the time of this writing, GetGenie is forecasting a Chrome extension coming soon.
Writesonic is another text-generative AI platform that boasts powerful writing ability and differentiates itself from others by allowing space for integrating SEO keywords as well as prompting the user to provide reference articles so it can create a brand voice specific to your needs.
Particularly for those looking to optimize their content and hopefully see their blog posts rise in SERPs, Writesonic could be a great tool.
On the other hand, Writesonic lacks a Chrome extension and requires users to log into its own platform: there’s less capacity for integration here. Its limited free trial allows for about 10,000 AI-generated words before requiring payment, which starts at $33 per month for 300,000 words and five seats.
Hyperwrite is another text generator and writing assistant that promises a variety of capabilities including text generation, explanation, editing for clarity, and more:
It also provides tools like “Flexible Link Assistant,” which will pull data from any URL provided and summarize it:
With the aid of a Chrome extension, HyperWrite accurately summarized findings: this has the potential to be revolutionary in your research work. While less straightforward in its ability to wholesale write entire pieces of written work for you, it boasts the capacity to make outlines, write introductions, ideate, and more.
Hyperwrite’s Chrome extension provides the experience of writing “fast forward” with its Type Ahead function, which allows you to write up to 500 words per month for free that function like predictive text on your phone, thus speeding up the process of writing. It will also edit any document on the page, as well as rewrite or start things like essays, emails, or blog posts, as well as proofread them.
Hyperwrite is fairly powerful in its free form, allowing for up to 500 free “write ahead” words per month and 15 generations, and upgrades to Premium at $19.99 per month.
There are quite a few AI extensions for Chrome that aid with blogging that are based on the GPT-4 API and therefore require a paid GPT-4 subscription to use.
While they are obviously useful, they do require generating a custom API key within GPT and applying them, and while they do integrate into Chrome, it’s not the same user experience as most of the above extensions and platforms. In this blog post, I focused on non-GPT-4 based AI extensions and platforms to better illustrate other options.
While OpenAI has certainly retained the lion’s share of attention and press coverage – and rightly so, its ChatGPT release sparked an AI revolution– there are many other AI companies and platforms one can work with.
While many of these AI integrations are still in the rollout process or simply anticipated, AI as a way to speed up creation is clearly the direction of the future for all communications professionals. For those looking to level up their blogging – be it outsourcing the act of writing altogether or simply optimizing or proofreading their own writing- AI integrations are a powerful tool to save time and brain cells for any content creator.
It’s important to think about whether it makes more sense to use native AI apps that are mostly “coming soon” or jump into AI creation now with API-oriented apps. You might not have the luxury of time to wait; in which case, rearranging your workflow a bit to allow for new platforms and programs might be to your ultimate benefit. What kind of blogging are you doing? Thoughtful posts that make value judgments or more expository posts that are as much about keywords as they are anything else? This should help inform what AI integration is right for you.
The important part is to take advantage of this new time-saver while you still can!!