How to use AI to write long form blog content in 15 minutes?

Use AI to Write Long Form Blog Content
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    One of the most frequently asked questions by content writers who use AI-assisted writers to generate content is:

    How do I use AI* to help me write long form blog content (of over 1,000 words) in the shortest time possible?

    (AI* = artificial intelligence)

    Time is money.

    To write a decent piece of long form blog post, most people will take at least 20 to 40 hours from start to finish.

    And the most time-consuming parts are researching the content topics and the actual process of writing the first draft.

    If you’re in the digital marketing industry, then you know that creating long form content can be a lot harder than creating short form content.

    That’s why many content marketers wanted to speed up their process of writing long form content when GPT-3 was first introduced in the market in June 2020.

    In the coming paragraphs, we would go into details on how to use AI to help write long form blog content.

    We would recommend a workable workflow in which we use certain AI tools together to achieve this purpose.

    Let’s dive in now.

    The advent of GPT-3

    What is GPT-3 by the way?

    GPT-3 is the acronym for Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3).

    According to Wikipedia, it is one of the autoregressive language models that can be “trained” to produce human-like text.

    OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory based in San Francisco, created GPT-3

    GPT-3 and content marketing

    Since GPT-3 went live in June 2020, this AI model of the NLP (Natural Language Programming) algorithm was trained by reading trillions of words and text online.

    GPT-3 has 175 billion machine learning parameters (the data points that a neural network tries to optimize during training).

    As a result, it could generate impressive text that even humans could not tell is generated by a computer.

    Many developers have used the GPT-3 API licensed by OpenAI to come out with applications to “write” various contents such as advertisement copy, marketing copy, sales scripts, email copy, social media content, articles, and reports.

    Why use AI to generate content?

    Benefits of using AI in content generation

    There are 3 obvious benefits of using GPT-3 to generate written content

    • AI content generators are fast, very fast
    • AI-powered content is unique – most of the time it passes the plagiarism test with flying colors
    • AI helps to break down the writer’s block

    Using GPT-3 powered AI writers, short content could be generated within 30 seconds. This helps content writers to produce usable content in a very short time.

    Most GPT-3 applications are producing unique content which passes commercial plagiarism checking such as Copyscape.

    Content writers love to use GPT-3 powered AI writers to come out with new content ideas while brainstorming. 

    Many are using it to generate short form content. For example, blog intros, blog title, Facebook ad or marketing copy.

    Controlled usage of GPT-3

    Because GPT-3 can generate content that even humans can’t tell it is written by a computer, OpenAI is limiting its usage to prevent harmful effects which include fake news, spam content and phishing.

    Currently, GPT-3 is offered as a language model through OpenAI API.

    It is available to developers to build applications with strict terms and conditions.

    One of the most important conditions is developers may not use it to produce long form content all at one go.

    So far it is limited to produce short form content, which is up to 115 words (approximately 700 characters) at any one time. But usually the length is hovering around 65 words or 400 characters.

    What tools are available?

    There are two types of GPT-3 AI writers available in the market: blank canvas and templates-based.

    Blank Canvas Type

    What do you mean by blank canvas type of AI writing tool?

    Think of the popular Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Notepad, which gives you a blank page to write.

    So far there is only one in the market that uses GPT-3, i.e.

    Templates-based Type

    This is the opposite of the blank canvas type in which it gives you different templates to guide you and let you input your prompts for GPT-3 to generate the content you want.

    Normally it will produce a few results (up to 5 or 6) at any one time so that you could pick the best that suits your requirements. 

    If necessary, you could always re-generate.

    There are a plethora of writing apps built using GPT-3 which come into the market in recent months:-

    What workflows are best for writing long form blog content?

    Many methods, but one goal

    There are so many methods to write long form content with the help of AI. In our discussion here we would limit our scope to using AI-powered content generators which use GPT-3 as their primary engine.

    All other writing assistants which use other NLP (Natural Language Processing) models are excluded.

    We have experimented with writing long form content using both types of tools: blank canvas and templates-based types. 

    Tools which we have used and tested are ShortlyAI, CopyAI, Nichesss, CopySmith, ContentBot, WriteSonic.

    There are a couple of new tools coming out in recent weeks, but we have yet to test them. 

    These include, Snazzy AI, ContentVillain,, Drafter AI, Broca, Topic, Spell., ThunderContent, Neural Text and Virtual Ghost Writer.


    General workflow for writing a blog post

    Let’s see what a general workflow looks like. It could be divided it into 7 major steps.

    Brainstorming => Research => Writing => Optimization (SEO) => Editing => Publishing => Promotion

    For this article, we would concentrate on the second and third steps (Research and Writing) where we would deep dive into using a workflow that will let us write the first draft of a blog content of 1,000 words in about 15 minutes or so.

    The normal workflow of writing

    Assuming we have done some sort of brainstorming on the type and ideas of the content we are going to write, the next step is going to be Research.

    By Research we mean doing a detailed outline on topics that we are going to write about.

    There are several methods of doing topic research depending on the depth of research and time you are willing to spend on doing it.

    Method 1: Using the faithful Google as your research assistant (the old but simple way)

    Method 2: Using tools like Frase, MarketMuse, BiQ, Blogley (better and more in-depth research but time-consuming)

    Method 3: Using PostPace app (a very fast way to come out with topic report and content brief)

    Method 4: Using GPT-3 tools such as Nichesss, CopyAI, CopySmith, Headlime, ContentBot, WriteSonic (fast way but results could be erratic or gibberish)

    Method 5: Using ShortlyAI to brainstorm the outline of the topics 

    Once you have done the Research, it is time to start writing. Two main AI-assisted workflows are as below:

    Workflow 1: Using short form contents generated by GPT-3 tools like Nichesss, CopyAI, CopySmith, Headlime, etc., and string them together

    This workflow entails you use one of the tools mentioned above to first create short paragraphs of contents using templates.

    The benefit of this method is you could generate multiple results at one go and choose the most appropriate one you like to be your content.

    The downside is you have to copy and paste the output (we mean the generated results) one by one, paragraph-by-paragraph into an editor such as Word or Google Docs to produce a long form article.

    Workflow 2: Using ShortlyAI to generate long form content at one go

    This is our recommended workflow in which you first generate the topic report and content brief generated in PostPace and then feed them into ShortlyAI to write your article.

    Of course you may also start using ShortlyAI right away, without first generating a topic report or content brief.

    This method is allowing ShortlyAI to do freestyle writing but should only be used if you are really familiar with it or have been “dancing” with ShortlyAI for some time.

    Let’s go into the details of doing Research using PostPace in the next section

    Research using PostPace

    Why use PostPace?

    We recommend using PostPace to do a quick research on topics to be written because of the speed of execution. 

    You could literally produce a usable content brief within a few minutes (from 2 minutes to 15 minutes or more from our experience).

    We have recorded a live walkthrough on how to generate a content brief below.


    • Why Is Accounting Important for Small Business?
    • Why Entrepreneurs Need to Understand Accounting
    • How to Read the 3 Basic Financial Statement
      • Income statement
      • Balance Sheet
      • Cash Flow Management
    • Managing Cash Flow
    • Maintaining a Balance Sheet
    • Maintaining a Balance Sheet
    • Identifying a Path to Profitability
    • Forecasting the Future of Your Business

    Questions to answer

    • What should I know about finance and accounting before I ...
    • What should a small business owner know about ... - Quora
    • Does financial knowledge come as an advantage when ...
    • Do I need an accountant for my startup business?

    The above content brief was created using PostPace in about 15 minutes from start to finish.

    So by using PostPace, you can generate a topic report from a keyword and generate the final content brief in record time.

    The steps are summarized below.

    Step 1: Generate topic report from target keyword (about 2 minutes)

    Key in your target keyword in PostPace and within 2 minutes it will spit out a detailed report on 

    • top ranking contents in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages)
    • common questions asked related to the topics
    • relevant or related keywords
    • keyword density
    • outbound links
    • number of words per content
    • readability level

    This simple automation process is a great time saver and gives you an overview of what to write for your content (as per what Google wants because PostPace analyzes the top 20 SERP in Google).

    Step 2: Create content brief from the topic report

    This is the step where your participation is crucial because this is the time you should pick what are to be included in your article

    • which important topics to cover
    • which questions to answer
    • which references to use

    PostPace content brief editor is easy to use. There is no need to do a manual copy and pasting.

    All you have to do is just click on any information from your topic report and it will be added to the content brief automatically.

    One good thing is you can always edit and rearrange the topics after studying the topic intent and content metrics analyzed by PostPace.

    Writing using ShortlyAI

    Two ways of writing long form content using ShortlyAI

    We have mentioned in the Workflow 2 section there are 2 ways to write long form content when using ShortlyAI.

    The first method is just to use ShortlyAI to write freely, i.e. without using a content brief or topic report.

    The second method is using ShortlyAI to write with the input of topics/outline as laid out in a content brief or topic report.

    First Method: Use ShortlyAI to write in freestyle

    A case study using the first method: Why Do Squirrels Don't Take Fall Damage? (click to see it at ShortlyAI dashboard)


    There are a couple of reasons why squirrels don't take fall damage. One is because they are small animals, so they can reach a higher terminal velocity which doesn't result in enough force to cause any harm to the animal. The second reason is because if they do hit the ground, they have fur on their body that helps with shock absorption as well as having claws on their paws that allow them to grip whatever surface they land on.


    Terminal velocity
    Terminal velocity is the maximum velocity reached by an object falling freely in a fluid. Because air resistance depends on the surface area of an object, larger objects are slower to reach their terminal velocity than smaller objects. Therefore, squirrels will reach a higher terminal velocity than humans when falling at the same speed.


    Body Mass
    Smaller animals can reach higher terminal velocities than larger animals. The size and shape of an animal is proportional to its weight and its weight determines the amount of force and therefore energy transferred when hitting the ground after a fall.


    By having fur on their bodies, squirrels are able to absorb the shock of landing without suffering injuries. The fur also reduces the squirrels’ surface area, meaning that they will reach terminal velocity more quickly than an animal without fur.


    Claws and Feet
    Squirrels have claws on their paws that enable them to grip onto whatever surface they land on. This allows squirrels to climb trees as well as protect them from any injuries when falling from trees. Squirrels’ feet are also plantigrade, which means that they walk on their toes and the soles of their feet rather than their whole foot like humans do.


    Newton's Law
    According to Newton’s law of universal gravitation, a body will accelerate at a rate of 9.8 m/s2 when it is falling in free-fall. The distance the squirrel falls before it hits the ground determines its terminal velocity because this will be the point where the gravitational force is counteracted by air resistance. The strength of gravity in relation to air resistance determines the size and shape of an animal as well as its weight.

    So before it hits the ground, squirrels reach a point where an equal amount of force is being applied from the ground and the air resistance and so the downward acceleration is zero. The same principle applies to humans, however being heavier we hit the ground at a higher velocity before reaching terminal velocity.


    What about other animals that don't tak fall damage?
    While other animals may not take fall damage, they do not have the same features as a squirrel that allow them to protect themselves from injury. An example of this is a frog which has pads on its feet and skin on its back that help protect them from injury when falling. This is not the case for squirrels, as they have claws and fur which both help them reach their terminal velocity at the right speed before landing without any injuries.


    Squirrels aren't hurt when they fall because of two reasons, one is that they have a high terminal velocity because they are small animals and the other is because they have fur on their bodies and claws on their paws which both help in absorbing impacts. Any animal that falls from trees will not suffer any damage to its body, as long as it falls at terminal velocity. It is believed that if an animal hits another object before it reaches terminal velocity, then it will suffer some injury or harm. Squirrels don’t suffer damage if they fall from trees because they reach a high enough terminal velocity before hitting the ground.

    This article was written by letting ShortlyAI write “freely” with no content brief or topic report.

    We only provided the following title and article brief. No special editing is done.

    Title: Why Do Squirrels Don’t Take Fall Damage?

    Article Brief: Write about the reasons why squirrels don’t fall damage. Explain the relationship between the terminal velocity and its weight.

    You would see that the article is about 600 words long and the content is actually quite coherent and free from major flaws or mistakes.

    Next let’s see how the second method is implemeted.

    Second Method: Use ShortlyAI to write based on content brief

    A case study using the second method: Email authentication - Everything You Need To Know About (click to see it at ShortlyAI dashboard)


    An Introduction To Email Authentication
    Most email programs, whether they are desktop or mobile, will warn users when they receive an email from a source that appears to be fraudulent. Emails are often the first line of communication for cyber-criminals and users.

    SPF or Sender Policy Framework is a protocol designed to prevent forged sender addresses in emails. The protocol was formally introduced in 2008 by Yahoo Mail to help fight spam and phishing emails.

    SPF records are not set up properly by millions of domain owners, which means that their emails are not being authenticated. By not implementing SPF properly, a sender’s domain is susceptible to spoofing activities.

    Spam and phishing email prevention is one of SPF’s key features.


    Why Do You Need Email Authentication
    Email authentication lets you verify your identity in the user's inbox. It can be used to validate your domain, and make sure that messages coming from it are not tampered with in transit (by hackers). This also helps prevent spamming and phishing.
    You can put an SPF record on your domain, but if you also have a mail server that is out of sync, or does not support SPF records, users might still see a warning from their email client. DKIM solves this problem.


    How Email Authentication Works
    The DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) protocol provides a mechanism for validating and authenticating email messages that have been sent through intermediary mail transfer agents. Email messages are digitally signed by the sender (referred to as the Author Domain) using a private encryption key before they leave the Author Domain on their way to the receiver's domains. The receiver's mail transfer agents use public encryption key(s) – which are available from the Author Domain via DNS – to verify and authenticate that the message has not been modified during transit.


    4 Primary Email Authentication Methods
    SPF, DKIM, DMARC and SenderID.
    SPF or sender policy framework has been the go-to authentication method for email domain owners for a long time. It involves setting up DNS records to verify that any message originating from your domain has been sent through your mail server. This helps prevent spoofing of your domain and also protects against forged messages that have been tampered with in transit.
    SPF can work well with even an open mail relay server.


    1. DomainKey Identified Mail (DKIM)
    DKIM is an authentication framework that was introduced in the late 2000s as an alternative to SPF. It uses cryptographic signatures to authenticate email sender's identity. DKIM uses the same DNS records as SPF, it also adds header fields into the message and a public encryption key.
    It can be challenging to configure a DKIM record if you have multiple domains or emails sent from different servers.
    Initial configuration of DKIM may also take more time than setting up SPF records.


    2. SPF with SenderID
    Sender ID uses SPF records to identify the source of all email messages. It is a proprietary authentication method that was developed by Microsoft and Yahoo in 2005. However, it never officially became an IETF standard because it was not supported by other large ISPs.
    The advantage of Sender ID over SPF is that it monitors emails even when they do not come from mail servers with an open relay policy.
    When a Sender ID record is set up, users can receive only authenticated messages.


    3. DMARC or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance
    DMARC is an email authentication method that was developed in 2012. It uses both SPF and DKIM to authenticate an email's sender across multiple mail servers. It also provides a report on how mail receivers handled the message so that you can check for any issues.
    DMARC can be used to prevent other domains from spoofing your email address, or if your mail is being delivered to the recipient's spam mailbox.


    4. SenderID is another proprietary authentication method that was developed in 2005 by Microsoft and Yahoo.
    It uses SPF records to identify the source of all email messages.
    Sender ID can be used to monitor emails even when they do not come from mail servers with an open relay policy. Sender ID is supported by AOL, Comcast, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Office 365.
    It does not require any additional software or hardware but you do need to create a DNS record for every domain you want to send email from.


    Why you need DMARC, SPF and DKIM
    A single authentication method is not enough to fully protect your email domain against phishing and spoofing attacks that use forged "From" addresses. To make sure that your email domain is protected against all types of spoofing, you should implement DMARC along with SPF and DKIM authentication methods.
    DMARC prevents other domains from spoofing your domain, or if your mail is being delivered to the recipient's spam mailbox.
    This combination of DMARC, DKIM and SPF will protect you against most threats targeting DNS records.


    Recent developments drive interest in email security protocols
    As more and more businesses are adopting cloud-based email security solutions to protect their brands, they are facing a major problem that email authentication protocols will not allow them to access their data. For example, SPF requires that the country code of the sender's email should match the country code in DNS (or reverse DNS). However, this is not always possible with domain ownership transfers.

    In 2016 Google launched its Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) specification.


    Email Authentication and Email Deliverability
    Evaluating deployment options for SPF and DKIM records for an email marketing campaign?
    DMARC policy provides a way to publish and enforce policy for both authentication and deliverability. It is also possible to perform DKIM signing within the ESP platform, in addition to SPF record implementation.
    SPF record can be set up either on the DNS server or on the ESP platform, while the latter option will require you to send from a specific email account that has been authorized by your ESP.


    How Can Customer Engagement Be Affected
    In 2017 SPF and DKIM records were both involved in massive email deliverability issues. Google’s Gmail spam filtering system blocked all emails sent from a popular domain that uses a SPF record. In addition, one of the largest ISPs in the United States was blocking all emails with DKIM signature due to a failed DNS record update.


    How Can You Protect Yourself Against Email Threats
    Email security solutions should be implemented as soon as possible if you really want to protect your brand online. Using SPF, DKIM and DMARC records will allow you to prevent potential threats and avoid being put on lists by several major ISPs and email providers.
    You should also check if your DNS provider allows you to create a reverse DNS record for your domain. This will allow you to create full protection against spoofing attacks.
    If you use an email marketing service provider, make sure that they are using the above mentioned authentication protocols for your domain.


    Summary/Wrap up
    Even after more than 20 years since the first email authentication standard came in place, many companies still do not use email authentication services to protect their domains. However, we can expect this trend to change as email security solutions become more and more widely used.
    If you are running an online business with an e-mail component, it is very important to implement SPF, DKIM and DMARC policies as soon as possible. This will allow you to prevent yourself from being blocked by major email providers and ISPs.

    The above article was presented without any editing. The inputs we fed into ShortlyAI are the title and article brief.

    Title: Email authentication – Everything You Need To Know About

    Article Brief: Email authentication covers everything, including security, reputation, email deliverability, and conversions–things you, as a marketer, definitely care about.

    In this method, the article was written with the help of a content brief prepared earlier by using PostPace. You would see the flow of creation in the video below, which was recorded live.

    By using the topics in the content brief, we guided ShortlyAI to write a long content of 1,204 words in about 15 minutes. 

    Nevertheless, we would say this is a very usable first draft on the topic of  “Email Authentication”.

    We could then improve on the article in the next steps of Optimization and Editing before sending it for Publishing.

    Don’t you think this is impressive?

    The major take-home point is we had successfully researched and written a long form FIRST DRAFT article in about 30 minutes (15 minutes in Research using PostPace and 15 minutes in Writing using ShortlyAI).

    Using this workflow will greatly cut short the time spent in Research and Writing. Just imagine how much time it will take if we were to use conventional methods of researching and writing.

    Word of caution

    You might be thinking: “Wow, from now on I could churn out a 1,000-word article in about 30 minutes. So in 2 hours, it means 4 articles with 1,000 words each.”

    In real life, content produced in this way will need further fine-tuning in terms of Optimization and Editing, before it is fit for publication.

    However, if you are willing to spend some time practicing using PostPace and ShotlyAI together, you would have won 70 – 80% of the battle in content creation.

    The remaining 20 – 30% of the work would be in the form of Optimization and Editing.

    Next steps: Optimization and Editing

    While the next steps of Optimization and Editing are important, we shall not delve into details as it is beyond the scope of this article.

    However, we would list down the key points for your consideration.

    Optimization for SEO

    The purpose of creating a piece of content is to reach out to as many readers as possible. How is this going to be possible?

    The only way (other than advertising) is to make sure the content is optimized in terms of SEO.

    The simple answer is: if Google finds your article is the best in answering the search intent, it will start ranking your article high in the search engine results.

    There are many tools available to help you do this. You may want to consider the following.

    • Frase
    • MarketMuse
    • PostPace (it recently came out with an extra feature called Content Optimizer)
    • BiQ (Content Intelligence)
    • Blogley

    However, we would not go into any details of using the above tools in this article.


    Once you have optimized your content for SEO, the last part of your job before publishing your content is Editing.

    By editing we mean to improve your article to make it fit for human reading in a natural way. 

    This aspect of improvement is to include the following:-

    • grammar check of words and sentences
    • tone of article to suit your audience (is the article a report, story, marketing copy, etc.?)
    • clarity, flow and overall quality of your article (humanize the article as much as possible)
    • plagiarism check

    It will take another long article to go into various aspects of editing. So we shall stop here.


    Most GPT-3 powered AI writers can write short form content well. 

    But almost all of them cannot help content writers to generate long form content such as a 1,000-word blog post in one go.

    ShortlyAI is the only one that can help you write a long form blog post at one go.

    The recommended workflow is to first get a content brief generated using PostPace

    Then feed the topics (from the content brief)  into ShortlyAI so that it will produce a coherent piece of long form content which is human reading friendly. 

    By using this workflow, you can easily write the first draft of a long form blog post with the help of AI in 30 minute. 15 minutes will be spent in creating content brief using PostPace and the other 15 minutes will be for ShortlyAI to write.

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