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AI-Powered Content Creation: Using the "Sandwich Method" for Authentic Writing

This article is the introduction and foundation to a multi-part series about using AI to generate content. The rest of the series can be found here.

Hand holding knife piercing sandwich

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again. Never use AI to generate your content from beginning to end. It’s only a matter of time before Google and other platforms start penalizing content for being AI generated. AI generated content feels weird to read. It can sound disingenuous, and like it was written by AI (because it was). It also struggles to convey brand voice, especially in longer pieces. AI generated content can sound like it’s coming from nowhere. 

We aren’t discouraging using AI to help you write - in fact, quite the opposite! You can and should be using AI to automate cognitive tasks so you can save time and brainpower. We’re going to teach you how to use AI to make your writing stand out while remaining authentic to your brand voice and tone. We use the free version of ChatGPT - just be careful not to input any sensitive or private information.

You can get a free ChatGPT account by going to

The Sandwich Method

Think about using AI for your writing like a sandwich: the AI can either be the filling or the bread. It works best for most people when using AI as the bread, but try both approaches and see what works best for you.

AI as the Bread

Most people hate starting with a blank page. If that sounds accurate, the bread method might be for you.

Step One: Ask AI to help you generate an outline or ideas for what you’re looking to write. Here are a few examples:

  • I’m writing a blog post about the differences in marketing to the Millennial consumer vs. the GenZ consumer. Can you come up with a rough outline for the article? Don’t write the article for me, just give me a skeleton that I can fill in with my own information.
  • I’m writing an article for linkedin about the cycles of fashion trends. Can you help me write an outline? Please include 3 examples of cyclical fashion trends and also explain how the trend has evolved with each cycle. Don't write the article for me, just give me an outline that I can fill out myself.
  • I need to write a series for TikTok about sneakers and celebrities. Can you come up with 4 ideas in bullet form that flow together into a cohesive series?

Notice anything about the prompts above? They say don’t write it for me. ChatGPT can be an overachiever, and if you fail to include this sentence sometimes it will generate the entire article - which isn’t what we want.

Step Two: Once you’ve got your outline, it’s time to write. Even with an outline, writing can be a daunting task. The best way to get over this hurdle is to:

  • Set a timer for less time than you think you need. For example, if you think it’s going to take you an hour to write an article, set a timer for 20 minutes.
  • Free write your thoughts. Don’t worry too much about sentence structure or “making sense”.

Two things happen when we freewrite with a time constraint: first, we’re forced to let go of our inner critic that insists each sentence needs to be beautiful before moving on to the next. We allow ourselves to enter a state of “flow” where our brains can connect different ideas together in creative ways – which is how we came up with the sandwich method! 

When your timer goes off, you might choose to silence it and keep going, or you might be pleasantly surprised to find that you’ve written more than you expected. Everyone’s different, but many people find it helpful to write in 25 minute increments with a 5 minute break in between, then a longer break every 4 sessions (commonly known as the Pomodoro Technique). 

Step 3: Unless you’re on a low carb diet (no judgment here) a sandwich usually has two pieces of bread. Now that you’ve written your “filling”, use ChatGPT to polish your free-writing. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Please help me form this writing sample into a cohesive article. Organize my thoughts into sections and paragraphs with themes and come up with heading titles for each theme. Please don’t rewrite any existing sentences, but do include transition sentences that are inline with the overall tone of the rest of the writing. Here is the sample: [paste your writing]
  • Please help me organize my writing. I want to write an article with 3 sections: [section A idea], [section B idea], [section C idea]. Can you put each thought into one of the sections? Please don’t rewrite any of my sentences, just organize them into the sections I’ve provided. Here is my writing: [paste your writing]
  • I’ve written something but I’m not sure how to convey the main point or even what I’m trying to say. What do you think the main point of the article is? Don’t rewrite my sentences, just give me some suggestions on how I could organize better.

Similar to above, we’re asking ChatGPT to please not rewrite our sentences. ChatGPT won’t always listen, so sometimes you need to clarify or give a reminder. The prompts above are ideas to get you started, but you can get creative and edit them to suit your needs. The more specific the prompt you give, the better results you’ll get.

AI as the filling

If you don’t have trouble getting started but struggle to get the middle part right, this method might be for you. Using AI to fill out your writing is for those who like writing in bullet points, facts, or figures, but then have a hard time putting them together to create a cohesive piece.

Step One: Get started by writing out your ideas. Feel free to use bullet points, free form ideas, run on sentences, or whatever works best. Get as many ideas as you can onto the page.

Step Two: [optional] Find a sample of writing that’s in your brand voice. Ideally it’s your own writing, because it’s easier to get a consistent tone when it’s your own tone.

Step Three: Now it’s time to use ChatGPT. Here are some examples of prompts you could use:

  • I need to write an article of X length. Can you help me form these ideas into a blog post that is a similar voice and tone to this sample: (paste sample). Here is the content I’ve come up with so far: (paste writing).
  • I need to come up with a 4 part video series. Each video should be less than 60 seconds. From these ideas, please help me come up with four cohesive scripts: (paste writing).
  • Please help me come up with a Twitter thread based on these ideas: (paste writing). Try to match the tone and voice as much as possible to this sample: (paste writing)
Step Four: After ChatGPT has generated something, you need to read it over. This step is NOT optional. ChatGPT can be wrong or get confused, so it’s crucial to ensure everything is factual and accurate. 

Sometimes, depending on the length of the piece, using the filling method can make your writing more robotic. Go through the piece and edit any sentences that sound stiff or sound like they were written by AI.

Step Five: Finally, check your work using software like This type of software gives you a percentage of likelihood parts of your piece were written by AI, including highlighting the parts that are most suspicious. They aren’t always right, and you don’t need to aim for a score of 0%. I ran a few paragraphs of the first draft of this article through a checker and it said that 20% of the article was suspected of AI, even though I hadn’t used AI at all yet!

Bonus: AI as the sauce

What would a good sandwich be without mustard, mayo, or your sauce of choice? Using AI while you write can help you add that special sauce that spices up your writing. Here are a few prompts we use when writing:

  • This sentence is awkward, can you please make it flow better? [paste writing]
  • I’m having trouble connecting my paragraphs together. Can you come up with a connecting sentence? Here are the paragraphs: [paste writing]
  • What’s another word for [word you don’t want to use again]? I’m trying to convey a tone of [whatever tone you’re looking to convey].
  • Can I have some feedback on this paragraph? Please don’t rewrite it, just give me some suggestions on how I could improve it for clarity.
  • Can you please help me write an introduction/conclusion? Here is the body of the article: [paste writing]
  • Can you help me write a summary of this article that I can post on LinkedIn/Twitter/etc? The character limit is [# characters]. Here’s the article: [paste writing]
  • Can you help me write an SEO meta description for my blog post? Please include the following keywords [write keywords]. Here’s the blog post: [paste writing]

And one, final suggestion to use before publishing any piece of writing (and honestly, before sending most emails):

Could you please review my writing for spelling, grammar, and clarity? Don’t rewrite anything, just give me feedback and suggestions.

We use the sandwich method to help generate the blog content that you see on Ask Kenna! Can you tell which of our articles are written using bread vs. filling? Can you spot any sentences or paragraphs that got some extra sauce? Comment your thoughts below and we’ll tell you if you’re right.

Extra Bonus  

We ran this article through ChatGPT with the following prompt: 

Can you take a look at my article for spelling, grammar, and sentence structure? Don't rewrite anything, just give me some feedback to help make it more clear or flow better. Use bullet points. 

This is what we got back:

- Good use of a conversational tone to engage the reader.
- Clear and direct communication of the article's purpose and what readers can expect.
**General Tips:**
- Maintain consistency in tone throughout the article.
- Consider breaking down complex sentences for enhanced readability.
**AI as the Bread:**- Strong analogy with the sandwich method, making it relatable.
- Clear instructions on using AI to generate outlines and ideas.
- Effective use of prompts to guide AI-generated content without allowing it to take over completely.
- Good reminder to specify not to rewrite sentences and to be cautious with sensitive information.
- Suggestion: Consider providing a brief example or case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the method.
**AI as the Filling:**
- Well-explained process for those who struggle with the middle part of writing.
- Useful prompts to get AI assistance in creating cohesive content.
- A good emphasis on the importance of reading and editing the generated content for accuracy and tone.
- Clear caution about potential robotic sound in the writing and the need for manual editing.
- The suggestion to use software like ZeroGPT for validation is helpful.
**AI as the Sauce:**
- Great analogy with the sauce, adding a touch of creativity to the explanation.
- Practical prompts for specific writing challenges, such as improving sentence flow, connecting paragraphs, and finding synonyms.
- The inclusion of character limits for social media summaries is a nice touch.
- Encouraging user to review for spelling, grammar, and clarity before publishing is a solid reminder.
- Good call to action, encouraging reader interaction and engagement.
- Consider summarizing key points at the end for reinforcement.
Overall, the article provides valuable insights into utilizing AI for content creation and effectively blends informative content with an engaging writing style.

Thanks ChatGPT - you’ve made us more confident and clear writers!

Photos by Brodie & Sajjad Hussain M from Burst

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