As a content writer, I can’t overstate the power of generative artificial intelligence. Using AI has saved me countless hours that I previously spent brainstorming, researching, writing, and editing. If you’re a writer who hasn’t taken advantage of AI yet, I highly recommend it. And with several free AI writing tools available, it’s a risk-free investment in your future.
Exploring four free AI writing tools
As the classic adage says, you get what you pay for. I’ve used both paid and free AI generators, and the paid versions produce better content. There’s no getting around it. However, free AI writing tools are a great resource while you’re still getting used to AI. They’re also helpful for sparking ideas and getting fast answers to simple questions.
Once you’ve gotten a chance to try some of these free resources and feel more familiar with generative AI, I recommend you invest in a better tool like Quillbee. Quillbee’s specialty is bring your voice to life and humanizing AI writing. This is no generic content generator.
Now, without further ado, let’s explore these four AI writing tools (all of which I’ve personally tested):
Ahrefs AI writing tools
Ahrefs is primarily an SEO product, but they’ve recently added a suite of free AI writing tools. I recommend Ahrefs for several reasons. First, the sheer variety of tools available. They’re divided into four categories: Writing, SEO & Content Marketing, Social Media, and Business & Marketing. Then, there are several tools within those categories.
Another reason I like this tool is for it’s different tone options. It’s actually pretty fun to explore, and it usually helps me discover new content ideas along the way. Here’s an example from the AI Paragraph Generator. I added a paragraph prompt and selected a “formal” tone:
Now, using the same prompt, I changed the tone to “friendly.” Here’s the new paragraph:
Echoing that last sentence… how cool is that? There’s so much to explore among Ahref’s AI writing tools — and when they say free, they really mean free. That’s the last thing I love about this resource: You don’t even have to create an account to use it.
I’d be remiss not to add the chatbot that started it all when discussing free AI writing tools. It’s ChatGPT, of course! I’m talking about GPT-3.5, OpenAI’s free LLM, and not GPT-4/Plus, which costs $20/month. GPT-4 may be more advanced than 3.5, but it’s also slower and comes with prompt limitations (no more than 25 every three hours).
For most writers, the free version of ChatGPT is all you need. Create an account and start prompting. This chatbot can answer questions and write all kinds of content, from articles to songs to code. It doesn’t take long to realize that ChatGPT’s writing is far from perfect. You’ll have to edit extensively. However, it’s a great way to get those ideas flowing and overcome the intimidating blank page.
Besides writing, ChatGPT’s use cases are virtually endless. After a night out with friends, ask AI to help you sort out payments:
Or, maybe you’re craving something sweet but you have limited groceries on-hand:
No matter what you need, ChatGPT has your back. There a few things to keep in mind about this tool:
- ChatGPT’s knowledge base cuts off at 2021, so it won’t be able to answer questions about anything that happened after that.
- ChatGPT is a large language model, not a search engine. It can’t scour webpages for you or curate sources.
- Like all versions of generative AI, ChatGPT can have inaccuracies, inconsistencies, AI hallucinations, and other errors. Always fact-check.
- Strategic prompting is crucial with ChatGPT.
Copy.ai is the next free AI writing tool I’ve found worthwhile. There are two different sides to Copy.ai. The primary focus for this program is copywriting support (as the name suggests). Their website gives examples for the kinds of copy you can generate, including blogs, digital ads, social media posts, eCommerce product descriptions, and more.
To use Copy.ai, you’ll fill in a short brief describing your copywriting project. Tell it the kind of project you’re working on, any relevant context, and your preferred tone — AI does the rest! Here’s a prompt for generating a follow-up email:
One thing I really like about this tool is that it gives you several content options to choose from after each prompt:
After experimenting with Copy.ai across a few different types of copy, I’m not overly impressed by its output. The content is generally good, not great. But like I’ve said before, it’s a helpful starting point.
The other aspect of Copy.ai is its chatbot, which functions similarly to ChatGPT by answering questions, writing content, and more. But, Copy.ai has an advantage over ChatGPT: It can search the internet for you and provide sources. It’s also not restricted to 2021 and earlier.
Now, this is a free AI writing tool, but free users can only generate up to 2,000 words/month. If you need a lot of writing support, you’ll run out of words quickly. If you end up really liking Copy.ai, you can always invest in their pro plan for $36/month (paid annually).
The fourth and final free AI writing tool I’ve tested is Rytr. Similar to Copy.ai, Rytr includes content generation plus a chatbot. For content writing, this tool covers a variety of use cases such as blogs, calls to action, social ads, landing pages, and keywords — not to mention song lyrics, story plots, and poems. This makes it a really fun tool that helps brainstorm creative ideas or reignite your hobbies.
When using Rytr, you’ll select your use case, preferred language, tone, and other parameters. Then, let AI “Ryte” for you!
I had a lot of fun playing with Rytr’s different use cases. I even used it to craft a great profile bio for LinkedIn!
It’s chat function is built on OpenAI’s GPT-3 model, so it’s very similar to ChatGPT, meaning it can’t search the web and doesn’t have any knowledge past September 2021. But, if you’re already using Rytr for content writing, it’s nice to have a chatbot right there. You can use both tools without navigating to another website.
Rytr also includes an image generator, which is an exciting addition to written content. However, I had mixed results with this tool. Very simple prompts like “a purple flower” were fine. But check out this image of “a writer sitting with their typewriter:”
So close, yet so… melty. Still, I enjoyed experimenting with the image generator. Maybe the images will improve as my prompts do.
The free version of Rytr comes with all use cases, tones, and languages. But, you’re limited to five images and 10,000 characters/month (not including characters generated by the chatbot, just the writing tools). Their premium plans start at $9/month.
Level-up your writing with AI
AI is an incredible resource for any writer. These days, I don’t write anything without using AI at least a little, even just for idea starters or grammar and syntax enhancements. Many writers are doing the same, so there’s no wonder new AI tools are cropping up every day.
It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to AI. You may not be ready to invest in anything until you better understand the technology and how it can improve your workflow. That’s where the above free AI writing tools come in. Explore each one and see how much faster and easier writing becomes.
Try Quillbee when you’re ready
Once you’ve made the most of free AI tools, you may be ready to invest in something a lot more effective. Why not give Quillbee a chance? It’s got my stamp of approval, and once you try it, I’m positive it will have yours, too. In the meantime, check out our AI Buzz Newsletter for more industry expertise.