8 ChatGPT Prompts to Streamline Your Writing

By Halley Bondy March 29th, 2023

Content creator Eduard Fastovski is fascinated by ChatGPT. Whether he’s writing blogs, YouTube video scripts, or even code, Fastovski is hooked on the generative AI technology.

While the output is too erratic for full-on blog posts or major writing projects, he mostly uses the engine for ideas. “I’ve seen ChatGPT called ‘a calculator for words,’ and I really like this definition,” Fastovski said. “You have to provide the facts. Otherwise, it will make stuff up.”

While media outlets debate the ethics and evolution of ChatGPT, many freelance writers like Fastovski are already tinkering with the tool daily. The AI can’t reliably conduct original research yet, but it can generate titles, keywords, social posts, and more based on written prompts plugged in by the user.

“I’ve seen ChatGPT called ‘a calculator for words,’ and I really like this definition.”

Creating useful ChatGPT prompts, a practice called “prompt engineering,” requires a different skill set than actual writing. Generative AI technology is still limited and ever-shifting, and early adopters like Fastovski are only just starting to come up with consistently high-performing prompts. “I don’t think anyone has mastered ChatGPT yet, and it’s constantly being updated,” he said. “It could be completely different in a month.”

For the time being, below are a few useful ChatGPT prompts for writers to experiment with.

1. “Do not start writing yet,” and “Do you understand?”

It helps to wrangle the AI before you do any actual writing. Bloggers can “prime” ChatGPT with a conversation about their project, according to Fastovski. For example: “I’m a fashion blogger and I need your help writing a blog post. The topic is New York Fashion Week. This post should be helpful for people who are interested in the spring Christian Dior line. Do not start writing yet. Do you understand?”

chatgpt prompts

Equipped with this information and these simple prompts, the tool will learn before it creates any output. The AI will also remember this information for future questions.

2. “Write an introduction based on the bullet points below.”

If you tell ChatGPT to write a whole blog post on the spring Christian Dior line at Fashion Week, it’s probably not going to come out great. Without the right input, ChatGPT is not an expert on niche topics or current events.

“You must bring subject matter expertise to every ChatGPT session,” said Shelly Palmer, who uses the AI writing tools ChatGPT, Notion, and Bing Chat every day in his communications and writing. “The program makes stuff up, and you need to know when it’s doing so.”

Fastovski suggested writing out a list of bullet points that you want the blog to touch upon, then typing the prompt: “Write an introduction based on the bullet points below.”

The bullet-point tactic can be used for each subsequent section of the blog or article.

3. “Please ask me all of the questions you need to help me write this article.”

ChatGPT isn’t just there to take orders. It can also ask questions.

Palmer suggested the prompt, “Please ask me all of the questions you need to help me write this blog post.” “Blog post” could also be more specific, like “introduction” or “conclusion.”

To test this out, I typed into ChatGPT: “I’m a reporter writing a piece about the best ChatGPT prompts for blog writers. Please ask me all of the questions you need to help me write this post.”

ChatGPT isn’t just there to take orders. It can also ask questions.

The AI responded with eight questions, including, “What type of prompts are you looking for? For example, prompts to help generate blog topic ideas or prompts to help with the writing process,” as well as “Is there a specific audience you are targeting with your blog post? (e.g. beginner bloggers, experienced bloggers, etc.).”

These are pretty solid questions that I should be asking myself!

4. “Write 10 alternative titles for [your draft title]”

Coming up with one alternate title for an article can be difficult enough, let alone 10 or 20—or 100! This is where ChatGPT can really shine since the task simply entails rearranging words and extracting keywords. The same prompt can be used for title-adjacent copy, like subheadlines or section headers.

chatgpt prompts

5. “Cut the length of this article by 30%.”

One of ChatGPT’s greatest strengths is summarization. If you tend to air on the more verbose side, ChatGPT can help pare down your writing to meet a stipulated word count.

For example, if you have an article that was assigned at 1,000 words, but your first draft clocks in closer to 1,200, you can prompt ChatGPT to help you eliminate any unnecessary information.

You might say: “Please cut the length of this article to 1,000 words without omitting any information of substance,” or “Please eliminate any redundancies or unnecessary sentences to cut 200 words from this article.” Play around with the prompts, and the AI should be able to meet your request.

6. “What keywords should I use in this content?”

ChatGPT may not know everything, but it does know SEO. “ChatGPT is helpful in extracting keywords and key phrases, helping with sentence structure, and generally shaping SEO-driven writing,” Palmer said.

Chatgpt prompts

As such, writers can plug an entire post into ChatGPT and ask the AI to generate potential keywords. Follow up with the prompt: “What can I do to improve SEO in the [article, blog, etc.]?” to make the post even stronger.

7. “Rephrase to make this [more casual tone/first person/more humorous, etc.]”

ChatGPT can rephrase or modify any copy into a totally different tone, Fastovski said, changing a post’s perspective, grammatical tense, and more. The results may not be perfect, but they might save you tons of line-editing time if an article needs a major facelift.

8. “Turn this into a Tweet/Instagram caption/meta description.”

After writing a brilliant and informative article or blog post, the last thing a writer wants to do is write more copy for social media and search. ChatGPT can help truncate a blog post into Tweets, Instagram captions, meta descriptions, and more, Fastovski said. In fact, these little tasks can be a great way to start using ChatGPT in general.

“The best way to practice is to use it as much as you can for every small thing you write,” Fastovski said. “Even if it’s quick and you don’t mind doing it yourself, ask Chat GPT to write a meta description or Tweet or to answer an email. Even if it slows you down at first, you will learn something new—and maybe write something better than you would have otherwise.”

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