Will ChatGPT influence the SEO content writing market?

June 6, 2023 - 8  min reading time - by Syphaïwong Bay
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Here we are with another article about ChatGPT. Are you getting tired of hearing and reading about it? Well, to be quite honest, me too. But, it’s become a must-read topic. This wave of articles about artificial intelligence in online content creation isn’t just a passing trend; it raises a lot of questions being asked by professionals and the general public alike.

Up until very recently, we’ve mostly heard about AI through somewhat mysterious announcements. Although we suspected that AI was already present in various ways on the market, ChatGPT literally showed the uninitiated how to use it… and relatively quickly. But, what’s also important to note is that everything that ChatGPT can do is actually quite credible.

As such, one of the most frequently asked questions at the moment has to do with the future of copywriters in the online content market. By extension, service providers such as agencies and matchmaking platforms are obviously impacted. Many are asking, why would we need an intermediary for low value-added content if an AI tool can produce something perfectly plausible?

When I talk about low added value, I mean any content that doesn’t specifically call on creativity or information verification. Anything that is purely descriptive can fall into this category, as long as the sources are validated and the rendering controlled.

ChatGPT has established itself as the master of “good enough”, the results are always satisfactory, but never quite excellent. Everything the tool does is convincing enough to give us the feeling that it could replace us, by imitating and faking what we’d like to see.

The way ChatGPT works is reminiscent of the strategy often employed by children, the one where they say what we’d like to hear in order to please us, before actually telling us the truth.

So, if a “good enough” solution has presented itself, what changes will ChatGPT bring to the SEO-oriented content production market?

The current state of the online copywriting market

To produce a single piece of online content, several professions are involved. Therefore, the consequences associated with the introduction of AI in the copywriting processes are as numerous as there are business models.

Some companies, for example, choose to outsource production to freelance copywriters in order to concentrate on project management and business development. Others prefer to fully internalize their editorial resources, as may be the case with agencies or advertisers. There are also hybrid structures used for the distribution of editorial resources.

These are all strategic choices designed to optimize the management of your needs according to your business model and market positioning. Of course, it would be misleading to say that one model is better than another as each has its own unique challenges.


State of the online copywriting market_EN

Freelancers, for example, are inherently independent, but are sometimes less able to rapidly restructure an offer or to train quickly on new technologies.

Copywriting platforms have fewer in-house resources, which means they can economize considerably. On the other hand, they are dependent on external resources, which they cannot control. The ongoing recruitment of copywriters is an integral part of the business.

Agencies may well have one part in-house and another outsourced, depending on their needs.

As far as advertisers are concerned, having in-house resources is very interesting in order to cultivate a distinct editorial direction on a long-term basis. However, as communication and acquisition are not necessarily the core businesses of these companies, they sometimes choose to outsource content marketing tasks such as strategy and/or production.

With the arrival of ChatGPT, every market player is tempted to delegate as many tasks as they can to it. The most dystopian scenario we can imagine is one where AI completely replaces a copywriter. However, I think this is a relatively implausible vision if we take into account all the steps required to create a successful piece of content.

In reality, the complete replacement of a human editor by an AI is a highly unlikely scenario. It’s far too simple. To get an idea of the changes brought about by AI in online copywriting, let’s start with an inventory of the steps that actually make up content creation for SEO.

Here’s an initial list, which may not be exhaustive, but which illustrates that things aren’t quite as simple as you might think.





  • What is the subject? 
  • What angle to cover? 
  • Documentary research and validation of sources
  • Structuring content (flow of ideas, editorial choices)



  • Content creation according to an editorial line
  • Editorial proofreading
  • SEO quality control (anti-duplication filter, SEO KPIs, etc.)
  • Other checks (regulatory, legal, brand positioning, etc.)



  • Formatting
  • Integration
  • Integration control for SEO-friendly content
  • Markup integration for microdata (the bonus that makes my heart skip a beat)


In my experience, if a copywriter or service provider offers less than three of these tasks as part of their services, then they are easily replaceable: by another person, another agency or by AI.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for service providers or in-house copywriters to have a job description that boils down to just these two elements:

  • Content creation according to a certain editorial line,
  • Editorial proofreading.

This is all the more true for so-called low value-added content, which doesn’t require in-depth proofreading, as an error would create little risk for the advertiser.

Depending on the perimeters defined between the copywriter and his client (employer, project manager, client for a service), then the “SEO quality control (anti-duplication filter, SEO KPIs, etc.)” task may even be the subject of a third-party intervention. In this case, the copywriter only receives a few instructions to review the content for more precise optimization after the fact.

What capabilities does an AI need to replace a copywriter?

The ability of AI to take the place of the editor, or at least to take on the majority of an editor’s tasks, is largely dependent on its having been properly trained. In this respect, ChatGPT has its limitations, especially when compared with PlayGround OpenAI or other solutions in which we can dip our hands a bit deeper.

Behind the editorial guidelines lie a series of rules, to be applied with varying degrees of flexibility. In some situations, the decision cursor and the level of tolerance allowed in regards to how much you can deviate from the main rule are adjustable. When these editorial criteria are not explicitly written down, this is compensated for by the copywriter’s experience, good judgment and creativity.

Online copywriting isn’t just a hard skill

The (ideal) copywriter’s CV combines multiple skills with well-trained brain gymnastics. There’s that training thing again: sometimes it’s an actual brain, sometimes it’s a machine.

Today, what I find most difficult is to automate the creative stages that are the fruit of a subjective point of view.

For example, when searching for information:

TasksEasily automated
Search based on certain subject queries✔️
Selection of appropriate contentCriteria to be defined and formalized: 

  • Number of quotes by third parties ;
  • Authority of publisher and/or author ;
  • Date of publication ;
  • etc.
Creation of a summary✔️
Orientation of content according to a marketing objective and the editorial line
  • Creativity required
  • Complex, requiring strict standardization of templates beforehand 
  • Target adaptation


Still, it’s interesting to note the paradox of some professional content providers selecting a web copywriter solely on the basis of his or her writing style, while hoping to quickly replace him or her with a personality-free artificial intelligence.

Where copywriting is more of a soft skill is when it comes to all the tasks that call on our good judgment. Especially when the deliverables are pieces of text subject to interpretation.

Today, there’s a good chance that AIs based on GPT-3, GPT3.5, GPT-4, Jarvis, Jurassic-2 or (almost) anything else… are much better writers than human beings. But this in the strictest sense of the word: good writing with good syntax and no mistakes.

In many cases, that’s certainly good enough. When I look at user manuals in different languages for electronic devices that don’t make any sense, I have no doubt that “good enough” is more than sufficient for some of the requirements.

What aspects of online copywriting can we save money on by using artificial intelligence?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, ChatGPT is still far from being a complete substitute for a team of flesh-and-blood professionals.

However, identifying all the tasks that make up a project helps to automate part of it. It also helps to identify the elements that should be left to humans, so as to take full advantage of human brain power.

Bottom line, the more complex and demanding the editorial project, the less likely it is that full automation will be possible.

That said, automation is an excellent opportunity to :

  • Scale up to produce content faster,
  • Simplify formatting tasks for faster integration,
  • Rapidly perform preliminary research on a chosen theme,
  • Automate the creation of content in very specific formats, such as lists or tables.

We could perhaps consider, at least partially, replacing copywriters as a reality. Pricing practices and, above all, the amount of money ready to be spent on particular projects is already evolving.

In order to use artificial intelligence and amortize the cost of licenses, a significant amount of time is needed to specify requirements and train the robot. Between the cost of solutions, APIs, and the potential recruitment of a “prompt engineer” or just the time to be sufficiently interested, the effort must be well worth it.

The advent of a new form of digital transformation

Artificial intelligence in 2023 seems to herald the beginnings of a new phenomenon of digital transformation. We are witnessing the automatization of low value-added intellectual tasks. But didn’t the advent of calculators and computers do the same to some of the engineers whose main task was calculations, just a few decades ago?

So yes, ChatGPT and all AI solutions are transforming the SEO-oriented content writing market. While some of the players creating low-value-added copy may quickly become even cheaper thanks to economies of scale, another part of the sector will undoubtedly see a marked increase in their rates. It’s up to those who want to stand out from the crowd to showcase their know-how and skills, not necessarily with 0% AI.

Syphaïwong Bay See all their articles
Syphaïwong Bay is a SEO consultant specialized in content creation. She founded Assonance.Agency in 2016, a content marketing agency based in Reims.
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