After creating your outline, Outranking can assist you with creating the first draft for your blog post.
The AI-first draft helps you set the foundation of your content and is by no means a fully finished draft or a replacement for human writers. Instead, first drafts help you remove writer’s block and help you set the stage for better content. It is up to you to use this information, personalize it, add value, and write something useful for your audience.
The goal of the first draft is to get you 60–70% closer to finishing your content. Let’s look at the options to control your first draft output.
Selecting options for the first draft
There are three options to control the output of the first draft:
- Snippets (featured snippets)
- AI draft
- Key points
1. Snippets – Featured snippets
Snippets are answers generated in formats that Google loves to display: featured snippets and People Also Ask. The snippets are generated using AI only, and you need to fact-check and tweak them for accuracy.
Use this option to answer questions and offer definitions.
2. AI Draft
Content generated using this option uses the most advanced AI to write the section. It does not use any SERP Concepts, so it can sometimes lack facts. Select this option for more generic information that needs a little fact-checking.
3. Key points
Content generated using this option uses SERP ideas and research. The output is already heavily fact-checked. Use this option for more nuanced topics that need prior research.
What happens after generating the first draft
Once you generate the first draft, you will get the output for each section in a different format. Understanding how to build, adjust, and write around this format can help you write quality content at the speed of light. Understanding this phase is the most crucial aspect of achieving speedy content production in Outranking.
1. It’s perfect—Call it a day
Many times, the output you get will be on point, and not much editing is required to meet your expectations.
Great, move on to the sections that do need your attention.
2. Expand upon each Concept using summarization or text completion
Your first draft will also bring out key points in the section builder under each heading. Key points might not be the complete details about the subject, so you might need to build upon these for better elaboration.
Select the key point (which we call a Concept) and click the Summarize button on top to expand upon it.
This is a great way to elaborate upon a subject and make the text as informative as possible.
3. Combine research Concepts into a paragraph
You can also combine multiple key points into a summarized passage and put the different key points in perspective with each other.
Simply select up to 4 key points from the Concepts and click Summarize. This generates a well-written paragraph using the key points.
4. Add more information using custom research and add it to generate more Concepts or key points.
A detailed explanation of Concepts and the modular approach to writing is in the Summarizing Concepts: Writing content blocks section below.
5. Consider giving the AI a break and adding more value or expertise
Part of being human is expecting the AI to do everything, waving a magic wand and having it write everything perfectly in the way you want. While it’s not wrong to have high expectations, letting AI write the whole thing without checking it is a bit unrealistic.
Consider adding your own expertise, value, examples, and depth to each topic to provide something striking to the audience. Outranking will help you ace the rest.
Writing blog post introductions
There are different ways writers craft introductions. Using best practices and keeping the audience and tone in mind, we created some Methods to help you write amazing introductions. Let’s check out the 4 tools you should be using to write your introductions.
Open the Methods tab in the left menu and click Writing tools.
1. Brilliant Introductions
This style is inspired by many amazing blogs that rank and do an amazing job at keeping the audience hooked to keep reading.
Click the Brilliant Introductions view icon:
Pick your desired tone.
Then generate the introduction. You can use this multiple times to generate a few variations, then use the best one or combine elements of more than one into a solid introduction.
Here’s an example of the Brilliant Introductions Method:
Quite brilliant, right?
Similarly, you can use three other types of introductions to create more personalized openings for your blog post.
2. Problem–agitate–solution (PAS) introductions
The problem–agitate–solution (PAS) framework is a model for understanding how people deal with problems. The framework outlines three phases: agitation, action, and solution. In the first two phases, people are flooded with strong emotions of fear and anxiety. In the third phase, they experience relief and joy by finding a solution to their problem.
PAS is a little strict in terms of output. It creates an introduction in the form of a problem–agitates–solution.
You can use the same path to find this introduction Method. Let’s look at an example:
3. Before-after-bridge (BAB) introductions
BAB is a writing technique for structuring paragraphs. The BAB framework consists of three sentences, the before sentence that introduces what will be discussed in the paragraph, and after the sentence that summarizes what was just discussed, and a bridge sentence that connects the before and after sentences. The BAB framework is often used in academic writing to demonstrate how an argument has been developed or addressed.
This is a great way to open the blog post as well since it captivates the user’s attention to explore your solution. Let’s look at an example generated by Outranking:
4. Snippet definition
Summarizing Concepts: Writing content blocks
Concepts are concise information related to a heading added by a user or a subheading extracted from research. Outranking can curate these, or you can enter them manually.
You can use Concepts to influence the AI to write about factual information, and this is where Outranking holds an edge in AI writing. This is the only sensible way to approach factual AI writing.
There are 8 types of Concepts templates that you can use for various types of blogs.
1. Types of Concepts and research outputs
Extract the most important concepts from the text. This works best to extract complex Concepts and facts from SERPs or input content.
Read the text and present the information as steps. This works best to convert unstructured text into a step-by-step format from SERPs or input content.
Produce a conceptual summary of the text and present the most important discussion points as bulleted sentences, using SERPs or input content.
Extract features from existing raw text using sentiments. Read through Amazon products or briefs of drop-shipped products to extract key features from SERPs or input content.
Extract benefit-type sentiments to write paragraphs that lean toward the positive. Read through customer reviews and extract perceived benefits from any text in SERPs or input content.
Summarize the disadvantages presented in the text. This works best to extract the disadvantages of a product from reviews or product descriptions and write a paragraph of negative sentiments using SERPs or input content.
Extract common questions from any text. Extract inquiries on challenges, problems, or solutions with any kind of perceived sentiment from reference text.
Extract related information only from a large amount of reference text. Read through thousands of words to extract any information related to a chosen topic or heading.
2. Add custom content or research to extract Concepts
Click the Edit icon to see the source of the research for this heading or add your own content before generating new Concepts.
3. Expand upon each Concept using summarization
Select the text you want to expand upon from the list under the heading after generation and click Summarize.
Selecting 1 or 2 items from the list expands the Concept into a concise paragraph that explains the key points you selected.
4. Combine research Concepts into a paragraph
Selecting multiple items from the list will result in a more concise and to-the-point paragraph. Use the same Method described in the above step.
Continuous writing with AI
Continuous writing refers to using the AI to complete sentences and paragraphs as you write the blog. In the continuous writing style, you add your thoughts as guidance to start and let the AI finish them.
This is the most common way any AI will generate long-form text.
The major con of generating text in the continuous writing format is the need to delete the generated text when you do not like the output.
If used correctly, which is by providing proper guidance, it can help you write very quickly.
1. Output settings
There are three settings for output: low, medium, and high:
- Low gives an output of about 120 characters
- Medium gives an output of about 240 characters
- High gives an output of about 360 characters.
Outranking recommends you set the output to low to control the output and better guide the AI with more frequent input.
2. Tone of voice settings
There is no limitation on what kind of tone of voice you can set. Some examples are:
- Overwhelmed mother
Imagination and your own writing style are the keys here. Give it a voice of tone that best suits your writing style.
The default tone is set to friendly.
3. How much context to give and why you should give context to the AI
The Write for Me button does not work if you have not started the sentence yet. It needs some context to be able to write accurately.
Controls for writing and editing selected text
Using the Command option
The Command option is a very powerful utility that can take any written instructions and generate text in response to them.
To invoke this feature, write some instructions in the editor
Select the instruction text and press the Command icon in the pop-up
The resulting text is displayed under the selection.
To control the amount of text generated, refer to the previous section about the output length setting.
The Command function can read the text above the selection, so if you want to command a topic that is not related to the passage above the selection, type three forward slashes first: ///.
To rewrite the text in the editor or improve the readability, select up to 120 characters and click the Rewrite icon.
To expand upon a short segment of text, select it and click the Expand icon in the pop-up. This adds more context to the selected text.
To shorten a sentence, select the context and click the Shorten icon in the pop-up. This makes the text more concise.
Converting a heading to a question
Google loves questions. To convert a headline in question format, select the headline and click the Question icon.