ChatGPT Will Not Make You a Better Copywriter

5 min read


ChatGPT is a highly sophisticated chat bot from OpenAI, a research company devoted to making sure AI benefits humanity. It’s intended to answer just about any question—or complete any task—you throw at it. Its capabilities aren’t limitless, but what it can do is remarkable—and there are plenty of implications for copywriters, developers, designers, and just about any other creative profession.

For starters, ChatGPT gives well-organized, concise answers to pretty much anything you ask it. Want to understand the difference between subjectivity and objectivity? ChatGPT will give you a better answer than you’ll find anywhere on Google search. Want to write a story about a time-traveling lemur that takes over the world from a hot air balloon? ChatGPT will write it for you, and you can add details and tweak as needed because it remembers your previous queries.

ChatGPT also writes code—and according to our developers, it’s surprisingly efficient. It’ll code you a game of pong using Python in a minute or two, and even better, it’ll include annotations within the code that tell you exactly what each line is doing. With a little finessing, you can even trick ChatGPT into doing some design work, too.

So yes, ChatGPT is quite fun to mess around with. But we think it is much more than a shiny new toy. It’s disruptive technology that will revolutionize the way creatives—and plenty of other professionals—do their jobs.

That’s especially true for copywriters.

New Tools for Word-Working

If you gave a novice carpenter all the nicest, most advanced wood-working tools on the planet, could they make you a beautiful hutch? Probably not. The same is true for ChatGPT: If you don’t know your way around copywriting, it’s not going to make you a proficient writer. But give it to an experienced copywriter and there’s no doubt it can help them be better, faster, and more thoughtful.

So what can it do, practically speaking?

Research. Copywriters do a ton of it. But now, instead of having to sift through dozens of pages of results, you can rely on ChatGPT to summarize and organize the best information (or at least what it perceives to be the best information) for you. And it does it in a way that’s surprisingly well organized and understandable.

Proofreading. You can drop in a block of copy and ask ChatGPT to check your grammar, and it will do it with impressive accuracy. It will spell out exactly what you did wrong and provide a correction.

Concepting. Copywriters often spend hours at their desks coming up with ideas, but ChatGPT can give you jumping-off points for concepting in an instant. Go ahead, ask it to generate some ideas for kicking off a diabetes awareness campaign for a small to mid-sized hospital. You’ll probably get a couple of usable starting points you can further refine.

Basic copywriting. Headlines, print ads, script treatments—ChatGPT can do them all with varying levels of success. The first draft won’t be amazing (or even usable), especially if you’re asking for creative ideas. Here are a couple examples of what it can do on the first try:

Copywriter: Write me three headlines about how AI can be useful for copywriters.


Copywriting automation: How AI is streamlining the process
AI-generated copywriting: The future of content creation

The benefits of AI for copywriting: Increased productivity and personalized content

Since ChatGPT learns as it goes—and remembers what you ask—its results will continue to get better and more refined. Let’s ask it something weirder.

Copywriter: Write me three headlines about how AI can be useful for copywriters in ten words or less. Include the name of a Steven Spielberg film in each headline.


AI Copywriting: The Jaws of Content Creation

Become the AI-Assisted Indiana Jones of Copywriting

AI Copywriting: Welcome to the Jurassic Park of Ad Copy

No, these aren’t world-beating headlines. But they’re a good illustration of the kind of thinking ChatGPT can help you do—and we’re barely scratching the surface here.

The important idea is that when you make well-considered requests—and word them the right way—you’ll get to the good stuff faster. Which brings us to a crucial point.

ChatGPT is Only as Good as the Questions (and Requests) You Give It.

The art of asking thoughtful, probing questions is something any good copywriter knows. But it’s an acquired skill you only get through years of experience, discovery meetings, and research. An inexperienced copywriter using ChatGPT will probably find themselves flailing—or, even worse, they’ll think they’re getting good answers or quality copy written for them when they’re not. Without experience, they won’t have the taste level to know what’s working.

But that means ChatGPT is invaluable to a copywriter who can discern what is working—and how to make it better. It also means the great copywriters of the future will be masters at asking sharp questions. They will understand that—especially when working with AI—changing just one word of a request can completely alter the answers. This will make them even more intentional with their words than ever before.

Will Copywriters Become Obsolete?

ChatGPT is getting better, fast. That can be a little scary for copywriters—especially with a new version set to come out in the spring. But it’s not coming for your job … at least for a little while.

In the meantime, embrace this technology. Just don’t get any illusions this tool will make you a better writer. There’s no substitute for hard work in copywriting but, in the right hands—and with healthy expectations—it can help you realize new and awesome possibilities. Which, when you think about it, is what copywriting is all about.