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The artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot isn’t the first of its kind, but it has blown minds with its ability to answer questions, solve simple math equations, create websites, and even write extremely convincing biblical verses that explain how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR.
ChatGPT’s ability to generate paragraphs of text in response to queries has also sparked interest in using it as an AI writing tool. For example, here’s an excerpt of its response when I asked it “how can a person become famous on TikTok?”:
Pretty good starting material for an article on the same topic, huh?
ChatGPT may have become a victim of its own success, though. The AI chatbot is so popular that it is often down (it stopped working a few times while I was writing this article).
And while OpenAI — the start-up behind ChatGPT — has made ChatGPT free for now, users of a new $20/month ChatGPT Plus plan will get priority use over free users during peak usage periods. From my own experience, I can say that it works pretty well, with the occasional hick up – so maybe the Plus plan could even be your ChatGPT alternative 🙂
But if you’re looking for an even more stable (or different) AI writing tool, check out the eight best ChatGPT alternatives we’ve tested and shortlisted below.
Many of these AI writing tools use the same GPT-4 language model that powers ChatGPT. Some of them even have features that help them generate articles better than ChatGPT!
Sounds exciting? Then let’s dive in.
ChatGPT Alternatives: Summary
But these are not all of ChatGPT’s competitors. Let’s look at our full lineup of AI writing tools:
9 Best ChatGPT Alternatives
1. Surfer AI (paid only)
Traditionally, Surfer is an SEO tool that helps you optimize your content to include all the right keywords. Now, Surfer AI enhances their Content Editor module, helping you write full articles by choosing terms that your competitors are using.
Surfer AI builds on top of that by creating the article for you. We’ve already used it for some of our articles and the results were sometimes really impressive. Since it’s using GPT-4 for the writing, it’s really tapping into the latest and best language model currently available, making it an interesting ChatGPT alternative.
How good was the writing? Everything made sense in our example (see text in screenshot above) and the writing itself was actually really good. We tried it on a relatively complex subject (’email tagging’) which it fully understood. Having said that, there were 1 or 2 cases in which Surfer didn’t get the topic right and we had to ask for a refund.
Pros of Surfer AI
- High text-quality and automatic optimization based on Surfer (it produces articles with a high ‘Surfer Score,’ meaning they are optimized based on posts that compete with your article). It also uses GPT-4.
- Easy to use: since there aren’t too many levers to pull, it’s straightforward to prompt Surfer to start writing
- Nicely embedded into Surfer: having access to the entire Surfer toolset allows you to optimize your content much more than any of the other AI writing tools.
Cons of Surfer AI
- It’s extremely expensive! Not only do you have to pay $29 each time you generate a Surfer AI piece, you need a full Surfer subscription as well. So unless you are planning to integrate the classic Surfer product into your content production processes, the costs become prohibitive.
- Not that many options to influence the output. Surfer AI excels at finding the right content to include in the article. And you can influence the main headlines you want in your article. But other than that, you don’t have the option to fine-tune your content.
Surfer AI Pricing
- $29 per article
- Buy 9 and get 1 free ($261)
- Buy 22 and get 3 free ($638)
You also need a Surfer subscription, which starts at $69 / month in the Essentials plan. Surfer is by far the most expensive AI Writer. There is no free trial, unfortunately (only a 7-day money-back guarantee).
For which target user is Surfer AI best suited?
Companies or agencies with a very high content output and anyone already using Surfer for content optimization.
Copy.ai can produce a wide variety of content, from blog posts to emails, product descriptions, and even Instagram captions. And unlike some of the other AI writing tools we’ve tested, Copy.ai is also able to generate entire blog posts from scratch, complete with an introduction and conclusion.
Provide the tool with your blog title and relevant keywords, and Copy.ai will generate an outline, talking points, and finally the full content. You can refine its generated content at any of these stages.
Copy.ai also lets you set a writing tone for the generated content, such as Friendly, Professional, or Empathetic. Based on our tests, the tool’s generated content tends to stick to your required tone quite well.
How good was the writing? The friendly tone of the copy really comes through, and I like how Copy.ai provides a more relevant example of “gamer girl” for a gaming channel username. Compare this to how Content at Scale offered a more generic example of “#meme” as a possible hashtag for a meme above.
- Unlike ChatGPT, you can workshop your AI-generated copy right from the outline stage to get copy that’s a closer fit to your needs.
- Copy.ai has a built-in word processor for you to modify the AI-generated copy from within its platform.
- The tool also offers templates with prompts to help you kick-start a new writing project, whether it is a blog post, email, or something else. ChatGPT doesn’t provide such templates.
- There is a free plan for up to 2,000 words / month. This is good for one to two blog posts’ worth of copy.
- This AI tool appears very cluttered. You may have some initial difficulty figuring out how to use it.
- I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of the copy, especially if you compare it head to head with ChatGPT.
- Free: $0 for 2,000 words / month. Includes unlimited projects and access to the Blog Wizard tool.
- Pro: $49 / month for unlimited words. Has everything in the Free plan plus up to five user seats.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing. Get API access, a prebuilt workflows library, and more.
Small businesses with a limited content creation budget will love how they can generate blog posts, email marketing copy, social media captions, and more with just Copy.ai alone.
Developed by Writesonic, ChatSonic is a ChatGPT-style chatbot with a focus on writing content (as opposed to just providing human-like responses to user queries). Ask it to write a blog post, Facebook ad copy, and so on, and watch as it churns out the requested text before your very eyes. You can then edit the text in the platform’s built-in word processor.
Interestingly, you can specify the quality of writing you want when signing up. Four options are available: premium, good, average, and economy, and your chosen quality level will determine your pricing plan’s existing word balance.
This is an excerpt from the full 401-word response.
How good was the writing? The copy could be more persuasive—exactly why is focusing on quality the most important thing to remember when creating TikTok content? Also, I’m not sure if taking my time when filming necessarily leads to higher-quality content. The link between the two ideas needs to be clearer.
Pros of ChatSonic
- ChatSonic is the tool most similar to ChatGPT in the way it works.
- ChatSonic can incorporate the latest real-time data from Google into its responses. This beats ChatGPT and many other AI writing tools that rely on the updated GPT-4 language model, whose training data is up-to-date until only mid-2021.
- The tool can accept voice commands. (Voice searches aren’t available in ChatGPT.) And just like Siri and Google Assistant, ChatSonic can speak its responses back to you.
- You can also use Writesonic’s WordPress plugin to directly publish ChatSonic-generated articles on your WordPress website.
- There is no option for setting the tone of the response, such as “friendly” or “professional.” You can set the AI chatbot’s personality, such as General AI, Poet, or Accountant, but this setting may not be a good substitute.
- Similar to Lex, ChatSonic may not finish its response if it hits a word limit. When I asked the tool to write a full blog post, its response got cut off after 401 words and also ended with one incomplete sentence (namely “Getting famous on TikTok takes a lot of…”)
- Free Trial: $0 / month for 6,250 “good”-quality words and up to 25 text generations per day. Experiment with features such as 100+ AI templates and a one-click WordPress import for free.
- Long-Form: $12.67 / month for 47,500 “good”-quality words. Includes everything in the Free Trial plan, plus a complete article rewriter, Surfer SEO integration, and other features.
- Custom: Custom-quoted. Includes everything in the Long-Form plan, plus other benefits such as custom AI development and a dedicated account manager.
It’s a great choice if you are on a budget. Also, if you run a WordPress website, you may like the convenience of sending your ChatSonic-generated text to your website via Writesonic’s WordPress plugin. From our research, not many other AI writing tools offer such a direct WordPress integration yet.
> Try ChatSonic (free trial for 6,250 words of “good”-quality words)
While many other tools rely on just an integration to GPT-3.5 or 4.0, Content At Scale prides itself on using a “complex mix of 3 AI engines, natural language processing, and semantic analysis algorithms” to produce completely unique long-form blog post content (it doesn’t do any other type of copy). It also connects to the Internet in real-time to get additional context from the top results on Google.
Content At Scale works best for articles that talk about information that doesn’t change frequently. An article about “what is email marketing” would work much better than writing an article about a specific newsletter tool, for example “mailchimp review”. That’s also the way we use it at Tooltester.
In fact, Content At Scale claims the content it generates is incapable of being detected as AI content (which is usually true) — and the free Copyscape plagiarism checker enables users to confirm this for themselves before they publish its output.
This is just an excerpt from the fully generated 1,718-word article.
How good was the writing? The content largely makes sense, but it reads as rather bland. The sentence structure also quickly starts to feel repetitive as you read on. And you can’t see it here, but Content at Scale seems to like using the word “Additionally” in its copy a lot. Our overall experience is that it can be wordy, so when we use it for blog articles, we usually remove a large chunk of its output.
- Content At Scale really excels at producing long-form content. Generating blog posts of 2,000 words, 3,000 words, or even more than that, is no problem. Based on our research, other AI writing tools with blog post generation features tend to generate much shorter content (around 500 words).
- The tool has a native Surfer SEO integration, which provides recommendations on word count and keyword usage to help your blog post rank well on the search engine results pages.
- Content At Scale also generates table of contents, key takeaway, and tweet embed sections in your blog posts. Not many other AI writing tools we’ve tested do the same.
- Its content is not easily detectable as AI content, as our text with Originality.ai and AI Text Classifier have shown.
- Much more expensive than any of the other AI writing tools
- During our tests, Content At Scale took somewhat longer to generate a full blog post compared to ChatGPT and other tools such as Copy.ai or Jasper. But to be fair, this could be because Content At Scale generates much longer content than them.
- The quality of the copy can vary: depending on the topic, the tool’s output can be extremely poor. However, you can contact support and get a refund of the credit you used to generate the article.
- After cancelling, they will not let you access unused post credits, which is uncool.
- 4-Post plan: $150 / month for 4 posts per month. This post is not available via their website at the time of writing. We received the offer via email.
- Solo: $250 / month for 8 posts. Get one-off or bulk post creation and Copyscape access, among other features.
- Starter: $500 / month for 20 posts / month. This is basically the Solo plan but with a bulk discount applied.
- Scaling: $1,000 / month for 50 posts / month. The Scaling plan includes everything in the Starter plan and features for managing a team.
- Agency: $1,500 / month for 100 posts / month. You’ll get everything in the Scaling plan, plus reporting and other features.
Creators of long-form blog content primarily, since Content At Scale is a specialized blog post generator tool. If you need other types of copy, check out Copy.ai or Jasper.
> Try Content At Scale (get a bonus 20% more articles through this link)
I had some initial trouble signing up to use Jasper because I didn’t receive the login codes emailed to us. But an email to support — who replied within 5–8 hours, as they’ve promised! — sorted that out, and I got a fully written blog post for the topic of getting famous on TikTok a mere 10 minutes later.
All I had to do was fire up the One-Shot Blog Post AI template (there are over 50 AI templates to choose from), then fill out details such as our blog post topic and intended audience. I also had the option of setting our writing tone to “Friendly,” which could be why Jasper’s output had a more human-like quality compared to ChatGPT’s bland-sounding response.
Apart from text generation, Jasper can also generate AI art (which costs an extra $20 / month). However, when one of my coworkers gave it a try, it produced the typical AI-images with distorted faces and weird hands that are going around as memes on social media. The image generator feels like it’s simply not ready yet, especially for the high price.
This is an excerpt from the fully generated 530-word article, with the writing tone set to “Friendly” and the intended audience set to “TikTok creators.”
How good was the writing? Unlike ChatSonic’s copy, Jasper’s copy explains the importance of heeding the advice it’s stating—namely that finding a niche helps you build a loyal following. Also, I like how there is some variation in the first sentence of each point. They don’t all start with “One way of achieving X is to do Y” or some similar version of the same. For example, the first sentence of the “Collaborate with other creators” point is “One of TikTok’s best features is its ability to connect creators from all over the world.”
Pros of Jasper
- You can state your blog post’s intended audience to help Jasper adjust its writing to match.
- Jasper provides AI templates for over 50 content types, such as listicles and press releases to name a few examples.
- A built-in Copyscape plagiarism checker gives you peace of mind as to whether your AI-generated content is 100% original. ChatGPT doesn’t have a plagiarism checker.
- It would be cool if Jasper provided more features for shaping its eventual output. For example, Copy.ai lets you refine your outline and talking points before generating the final piece.
- The long list of workflows and templates in the tool’s sidebar can be distracting as you write in Jasper’s word processor.
- Similar to other ChatGPT alternatives, I found the quality of the output was inferior to the original.
- The AI image generator is too pricey for what it is right now.
- Boss Mode: Starts at $59 / month for 50,000 words. It includes 50+ AI templates, up to five user logins, and access to Grammarly Basic, Surfer SEO, and Copyscape.
- Business: Starts at $499 / month. Comes with everything in Boss Mode, plus extra perks such as extended input length, custom AI templates, and a dedicated account manager.
Given Jasper’s ability to generate both blog posts and images, we’d say agencies and professional content writers with a budget will benefit most from the tool. That said, small business owners may also find Jasper’s templates for generating emails, product descriptions, and social media copy helpful.
> Try Jasper (free trial)
Lex started as a “weekend hack project” for Nathan Baschez, one of the two co-founders of newsletter collection Every.to. Nathan used Google Docs a lot and wanted to try building a better version of Google Docs — and with GPT-3.5 integrated in.
When you start a new document in Lex, you’re presented with a blank doc that looks a lot like the Google Docs interface. You can type your own content or activate Lex’s AI writing feature with some simple keystrokes. If you do the latter, Lex generates a decent-sized paragraph of content for you.
Like ChatGPT, you can use Lex for free. Just be warned that the waitlist to access the tool is loooong. You can bypass the waitlist if you have an invite or take up a paid Every subscription. (We still have a few invites, if you leave a comment or ping us @tooltester, we’ll get you one).
Sample response to the question “How can a person become famous on TikTok?”
1. Post quality content regularly: Post engaging and entertaining content that resonates with your target audience. This will help you attract more followers and engagement.
2. Use trending music and sound effects: Add popular music and sound effects to your videos to gain more attention and engagement.
3. Utilize hashtags: Add relevant and popular hashtags to your posts to increase visibility and attract more viewers.
4. Collaborate with influencers: Connect with influencers in your niche to gain more visibility and expand your
How good was the writing? While the list-based format of Lex’s response here is most similar to ChatGPT’s, Lex is also capable of generating prose. It produced a paragraph of points for me when I gave it the exact same prompt in another document. But regardless of the format of Lex’s responses, I’ll need to do quite a bit of expansion on the suggested points by myself to get a complete article.
Also, Lex left its last sentence hanging at “gain more visibility and expand your…” This isn’t a publication error!
- Lex lets you directly modify its AI-generated input (or even type new content) in a clean writing interface. In contrast, you’ll have to copy/paste ChatGPT-generated content to another doc to use it.
- Its AI writing tool is easy to activate — just type +++ or Ctrl/Cmd+Enter (depending on whether you’re a Windows or Mac user).
- Lex also lets you collaborate with others on your content (AI-generated or otherwise) in real time. This feature isn’t found in ChatGPT.
- Since Lex relies on a GPT-3.5 integration to generate content, its training data contains information only up until mid-2021. Unlike some other ChatGPT alternatives, it can’t provide information on anything that happened after that.
- The last bit of its generated output tends to be incomplete (see e.g. its response to our sample above). That said, you can reactivate the tool to get it to finish its sentences.
- Free: Lex is free for now, but there is a long waitlist to access it. (Around 18,000 people are on the waitlist as of writing.) You can skip the waitlist by getting an invite or paying for a subscription to Every. A paid subscription to Every costs $20 / month or $200 / year.
Use Lex if you want a clean interface for writing content with the help of AI. Lex’s collaboration features also make it a useful tool for organizations where content creation is a team effort among writers, editors, and other stakeholders.
If the original ChatGPT platform isn’t working, then why not try a great ChatGPT alternative offered by the same people who built it?
Called OpenAI Playground, this open-source platform can also generate text in response to natural language queries. But the difference is that OpenAI has specially trained the ChatGPT model to engage users in a conversational manner, while OpenAI Playground lets users experiment with other OpenAI-developed language models.
You can use various settings, such as “temperature” and “Top P,” to refine the response you get from OpenAI Playground. Trying these out can be fun if you have the time to do so, but otherwise, you may find them too technical for your liking.
Sample response to the question “How can a person become famous on TikTok?”
How good was the writing? Quibble with the phrasing: the points are presented as tips for becoming a TikTok star, but “quality content” by itself isn’t a tip or action I can take to grow my TikTok following. I would rephrase this to something like “Produce quality content.” The copy is also somewhat repetitive—check out how the phrase “stand out from the crowd” is used twice, for example.
- It’s completely free to use.
- You can play around with different GPT-3.5 models and settings to identify the combination that produces the best results for your prompt.
- There are also presets, such as summarizing text for a second grader and Q&A, you can tap into to change the format of the tool’s response.
- OpenAI Playground’s settings can be intimidating for users who aren’t well-versed in the technicalities of language models.
- The tool saves your interactions with it — and its accompanying responses — for only 30 days. In contrast, other tools we’ve tested let you access your previously-generated text for as long as you have an account with them.
- The OpenAI Playground is free to use!
Geekier writers may enjoy experimenting with the writing capabilities of different language models in the OpenAI Playground!
ChatGPT may have gotten people talking about whether it will replace Google as a search engine, but not many may know that similar AI-powered search services already exist.
Perplexity is one of them. Similar to YouChat (discussed below), you’ll have a search bar for typing in your user input. Perplexity then processes your query and returns a response, and unlike ChatGPT, it also lists its sources in the form of hyperlinks.
The default response type is “Concise,” but you can switch the tool to “Detailed” if you want a somewhat longer explanation. Since Perplexity cites the sources it used to generate its response, you can also dig into these sources and fact-check the response for accuracy.
How good was the writing? I had “Concise” mode enabled here, which could be why Perplexity asserted a bunch of points without explaining how they can help a person become famous on TikTok. Even the more “Detailed” response didn’t offer much context. I suppose I have to click through to Perplexity’s sources of information to learn more.
- Perplexity is completely free to use.
- Unlike ChatGPT and many of the AI writing tools we’ve tested, Perplexity states its sources. This is helpful for verifying whether you’ve gotten accurate answers.
- Perplexity’s conversational AI model appears to be quite up to date. It correctly told us that Queen Elizabeth was no longer alive at this time. (In contrast, YouChat said she was still alive. ChatGPT said the same thing, but with a caveat that her status could have changed after its training data had been collected.)
- Perplexity is limited to providing shorter, general answers on a topic. It isn’t optimized for producing specialized content such as emails or social media captions. If you need such copy, see Copy.ai or Jasper.
- While you can grab the link to a specific response, Perplexity doesn’t offer folders or a similar feature for organizing the responses you’ve gotten from it.
- Perplexity is free to use!
Perplexity is a decent free tool if you’re looking for casual answers to questions, such as definitions of concepts, for incorporating into your writing.
Think of YouChat as an AI chat experience baked into a search engine, somewhat similar to Perplexity.
The AI-powered Your AI chatbot complements the platform’s other search features such as image, video, and news search. Type your question into the search bar and it’ll provide a response plus the sources relied on to generate it.
Apart from generating text, YouChat can also translate text and write code. It is also available as Android and iOS apps if you’re keen to access a conversational AI platform on the go.
How good was the writing? Similar comment to the one I left for Perplexity’s response: it would be great to know the reasons why these points can help a person become famous on TikTok. And YouChat doesn’t cite all the sources for its information, so I can’t investigate further by checking out the sources that influenced its response.
- It’s completely free to use.
- Unlike ChatGPT and many other AI writing tools we’ve tested, YouChat cites its sources of information.
- YouChat offers dedicated apps on the Android and iOS platforms. Not many other AI writing tools we’ve tested are available as mobile apps.
- YouChat’s responses tend to be on the shorter side. It mustered only a 326-word response when I expressly asked it to generate a 500-word one.
- The tool also attempts to provide related links below its response, but these links don’t always seem to be relevant. For example, it linked to a TikTok help article on avoiding fraudulent message attacks on TikTok when I asked it how a person could get famous on TikTok.
- YouChat is free to use!
You’ll find YouChat helpful if you want succinct answers to questions and would rather not click through search engine results to get them. That said, I think Perplexity can do the same and more accurately too.
After reviewing the pros and cons of the eight AI writing tools we’ve listed above, you might have some idea of which one is right for you. Here are a couple more tips to help you make a final decision:
What do you need your AI writing tool to do?
You obviously want it to help you generate text, but consider if you need fully fleshed-out blog posts (like what Content At Scale or Surfer AI can do) or just short paragraphs of information to add to your writing (for this, see Lex or Perplexity for example).
Alternatively, if you need a tool that can generate social media ad copy or emails, then shortlist tools that can do that. Jasper and ChatSonic are strong options here.
Be aware that a growing number of tools already come with AI features built in (such as Shopify AI), meaning you may not need a third-party tool at all. On the other hand, if you’re looking to build an entire website using AI, we’ve got a full guide to the best AI website builders you may find helpful.
Some tools have features that others lack. For example, you won’t find word processors in Perplexity or YouChat as they aren’t dedicated writing tools. If you plan on writing content in your chosen AI writing tool, take a look at Content At Scale, Copy.ai, and Lex to name a few.
Even if certain tools share the same features, one tool’s version of the feature may be better than that of other tools. When it comes to blog post creation, for example, I like how Copy.ai lets you tweak its suggested outline and talking points before it generates the blog post for you. Jasper can also generate complete blog posts, but you have less control over the final result.
While subscribing to an AI writing tool tends to cost less than hiring freelance writers, doing so can still take a big chunk out of a modest content creation budget.
If money is especially tight, free alternatives to ChatGPT like Perplexity, YouChat, and OpenAI Playground can help save the day. Some tools, such as Copy.ai and WriteSonic, also have free plans that let you generate a limited number of words for free every month.
In general, most of the top ChatGPT alternatives we’ve tested here do a decent job of generating copy. (If I was really writing an article on how a person can get famous on TikTok, we’ve gotten a lot of useful material to go off on!)
ChatGPT’s large language model still seems to have an edge as it generally produces the best quality output. But it’s also perfectly reasonable to use GPT next to other writing tools and AI chatbots – at Tooltester we currently use Surfer AI for longer blog posts and ChatSonic mostly when ChatGPT is down.
- review and improve the copy’s accuracy as needed, and
- refine the copy’s wording to fit your brand voice.
Perhaps these are challenges that AI writing tools will overcome as their underlying AI models improve.
And with tech giants like Google, Bing AI (powered by ChatGPT) and Meta gearing up to launch their own AI chatbots to rival ChatGPT, it’s clear that competition in the AI conversational world is only just heating up. Watch this space!
If you have a question about picking a ChatGPT alternative, we’d be happy to help. Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.
There are several AI writing tools available in the market that offer unique features compared to ChatGPT. Three such ChatGPT alternatives are Content At Scale, Copy.ai, and WriteSonic.
Content At Scale: This AI writer uses advanced NLP-algorithms to generate long-form content just by feeding it a simple keyword. It can produce content of 3000+ words, whereas ChatGPT stops its output after 400–500 words. Keep in mind that Content At Scale is significantly more expensive than ChatGPT.
Copy.ai: Copy.ai is an AI-powered writing assistant that can help you create marketing copy, product descriptions, and social media posts. This tool uses GPT-4 technology to generate human-like text that is both persuasive and engaging. It also comes with a range of templates and copywriting frameworks. It also provides a free plan.
WriteSonic: This is one of the few AI tools providing a chat interface similar to the one of ChatGPT. The advantage of ChatSonic is that it has access to the Internet and is able to scrape newer results. It can also help you generate content for a variety of use cases, including blog posts, social media posts, and product descriptions.
We keep our content up to date
03 Oct 2023 - Updates to the article's structure
21 Jul 2023 - Added Surfer AI
27 Mar 2023 - Video review
16 Feb 2023 - Smaller updates and corrections
13 Feb 2023 - Added some more context for the copy the AI tools created.
10 Feb 2023 - Article first published
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