I am reading your feedback. This Sunday’s newsletter is 40% shorter. 🙂 Keep those comments coming! -NW

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Today, let’s talk about how AI is changing social media feeds and marketing – for better and worse.

As we’re seeing rather prominently on LinkedIn, both posts and comments are being automated with ChatGPT and other AIs. Comments from multiple users that look almost exactly the same are becoming an increasingly common thought leadership faux pas.

Decide for yourself. As shared in a Reddit post, all these screenshotted comments are on the same LinkedIn post. Are they real? 🤔

Source: Reddit

More comments typically lead to better distribution on most platforms, so marketers are using AI-powered engagement farming to up their visibility — even if the engagement itself is garbage.

Users are already starting to pick up on this, and skepticism is going up a lot online as a result. Content marketing is changing. Quantity won’t matter as much anymore; instead, your content needs to be better — and it needs to be clearly human.

Ramit Sethi calls this “remarkable content.” This is content that takes 3x or even 5x the time to produce, but delivers a much stronger impression and lasts for years as a result. Focus on creating remarkable content that is evergreen.

Here are three pieces of evergreen content to consider punching up this year.

No. 1: About Page and Origin Story

Who are you? What do you do? Why should we care?

Your origin story is going to become more powerful because it’s something unique to you that cannot be AI-generated. This should be on your about page and in the anecdotes you share with your audience. It’s also good to be working on this messaging often so that it rolls off the tongue easily.

Help people connect with you not only as a service provider, but also as a person.

No. 2: Evergreen Guide on an Industry Topic

Write one deep piece of content, then set it up to reach new readers on autopilot each month.

I wrote my blog post on how to write for Forbes about a year ago. I update it maybe once a quarter. All year long, this guide brings me high-quality readers and subscribers without any additional effort – over 10,000 readers in the last nine months, which is not too shabby.

Source: Google Analytics

Another blog, my overview of Substack, pulled in just under 20,000 readers in the same timeframe. It’s an ongoing irony of this newsletter that Substack commentary brings me a lot of readers when I’ve been hating on Substack since 2019.

Source: Google Analytics

This also doesn’t have to be industry-specific information, either. One of my favorite media bylines I’ve ever done was this piece for Fast Company about how coming out has given me courage throughout my career. I repost it every year for National Coming Out Day.

If there are questions you find yourself answering again and again in your industry, or foundational information you want people to know about a particular topic, consider taking the time to make ONE really good piece of content.

Embrace evergreen content.


No. 3: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top problems your clients or readers experience? What questions typically come up?

Consider creating one or more pieces of evergreen content that answer common questions. This can be especially helpful for warm leads who need additional nurturing or encouragement to sign on.

One of these posts for me is my blog on how to write a lead because I found both clients and readers often get tripped up regarding how to START a story.

Whenever you’re stuck on content ideas, just look at what people in your industry are asking to do or getting stuck on. Then offer the best, clearest solution.

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I’m watching the different ways AI-generated writing is seeping into our online marketing ecosystem. Some of the use cases are terrific. But others are homogenizing our online feeds and changing how users interact with content and use the internet.

Take the time to publish content that is both quality and human and you’ll stand out in an increasingly AI-generated world. ◆

Reminder: Medium Writing Academy open through Wednesday**

Leading Medium writer Sinem Günel has a live cohort program called the Medium Writing Academy. Enrollment is open through Wednesday.

Medium helps you grow your audience and income through writing. Perks of the Medium Writing Academy include:

  • 4 weeks of exclusive group coaching with Sinem.
  • “Live Writing Sprints” to go from having a writing idea to finally publishing your work.
  • The MWA Boost Vault.
  • Access to a private student community.

I endorse the Medium Writing Academy, and doors close soon.

Reading Is Fundamental

News and hot links from the week

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Online Business

Substack added video notes and Spotify podcast integrations to its platform in an update marking one year of its Notes feature. (On Substack)

Airtable now allows for list nesting and more defaults in fields. Their updates page is, of course, an Airtable embed. Say it with me: Airtable is best. (Airtable)

The Research-Backed Benefits of Daily Rituals. (The Harvard Business Review)

A new version of HARO called HERO (Help Every Reporter Out), launched by the same founder as HARO, is getting buzz. (HERO)

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AI

How to automate ChatGPT. (Zapier blog)

Microsoft’s new VASA-1 can deepfake a person with one photo and one audio track. (Ars Technica)

Facebook’s AI Told a Parents Group It Has a Gifted, Disabled Child. (404Media)

ChatGPT and Tone: Avoid Sounding Like a Robot. If you want your initial AI outputs to not sound so AI-y, Nielsen Norman Group suggests adding tone words into prompts. (NNG blog)

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General News-ish

An online coding boot camp that lied in its marketing and exaggerated job placement rates was shut down by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week. (CFPB)

An NPR Editor Who Accused the Broadcaster of Liberal Bias Resigned. Lots of debate this week amongst media talking heads about this one. (The New York Times — friend link)

CNET recommends Rocket Money to replace Mint. Owned by Intuit, Mint was a free budgeting app for 16 years that shut down last month. I put my business accounts on Rocket Money to track software subscriptions and pare things down a bit. (CNET)

Aperitif

One finishing takeaway

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Prioritize the revenue-generating action.

Sometimes that is sales outreach. But other times, that action is taking the time to set up a system or automation, because doing so will free up your time and attention.

Time and attention are finite resources. Preserve them for your highest-value activities. For me, those tasks are writing, outreach, and cultivating industry relationships.

Time and attention can also be mangled my stress. Set up systems wherever you can to make your life easier. Yes it takes a while at first, and yes you might have to do some Googling to make it all work. Do that work.

Let’s make it a great week!

Nick