AI tools like ChatGPT can be intimidating and confusing. If you’re not already using AI for writing, you’ve probably wondered, “What is ChatGPT? What’s it for? Should I check it out?”
ChatGPT is a super-smart, friendly robot that will help you with almost anything. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand and respond to questions and prompts. You can even have a detailed conversation, back and forth, with ChatGPT on almost any topic you’re interested in. It’s pretty incredible.
Primarily communicating via text, much like messaging or texting, ChatGPT is built on technology that learns from vast amounts of human knowledge to provide thoughtful, informative responses. Think of it as a writing assistant — pre-loaded with info on almost everything — that can offer suggestions, answer questions, and even help brainstorm ideas and so much more.
Getting started with ChatGPT is as simple as signing up for a free account and asking questions. Any question. It’s that easy!
But to really harness its potential, knowing a few tricks, like creating effective prompts, can be incredibly helpful. These aren’t just any questions; they’re gateways to unlocking ChatGPT’s full capabilities. Over the past year, I’ve been experimenting and gathering some of the best prompts and tips for writers like you.
In this article, I’m sharing 47 tried-and-true ChatGPT prompts that are perfect for brainstorming topics, creating outlines and headlines, finding keywords, and enhancing your writing. You’ll discover that with the right prompts, ChatGPT can be an invaluable tool in your writer’s toolbox, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out.
Let’s dive in and see how writing can be more fun and take less time with a bit of help from ChatGPT.
TL;DR: Scroll down about halfway for the prompts!
Should You Use ChatGPT for Writing?
Although ChatGPT hit the scene just a year ago, AI (artificial intelligence) and AI writing tools have been around for a while. If you’ve used Grammarly, you’ve used AI. And if you’re a freelance content writer, marketer, or blogger, you’ve probably heard of or even used AI tools like Jasper, Wordtune, ProWritingAid, and Hemingway.
But like many writers, you might be totally against using any form of AI for writing — and that’s okay. I’m not using it for writing, either. That is, I’m not using it to write content for blog posts or articles, and I’m definitely not using it to generate creative writing. I prefer my own writing, thank you very much.
But if you choose to use ChatGPT (or any AI tool) specifically for generating content, here’s the deal: It’s flat, emotionless, and repetitive and doesn’t always get the facts right. Plus, it uses way too many big or unusual words if you don’t provide explicit instructions. More on that another time, but you’d better be an expert editor and highly skilled fact checker if you expect to generate quality blog posts with ChatGPT.
Check out the introduction of an actual blog post on learning Python (below). I was interested when it popped up on my Facebook feed, but… No thanks. “In the ever-evolving landscape” is one of ChatGPT’s favorite expressions. Take a look. Would you wade through that verbiage?
If you’re a freelancer, don’t even try using it to write articles for you. Clients check, even though no AI detector is 100% accurate. But unedited AI-generated text is pretty obvious. As an editor for a busy content management company, I’ve seen new writers try to get away with it. I’ve seen it in emails, social media posts, and texts. It’s hard to miss. If it seems strange and oddly impersonal, it’s probably AI, even if you can’t put your finger on what’s “off” about it.
Fast-Track Your Writing with ChatGPT
But here’s the good news: You can confidently use AI writing tools like ChatGPT for lots of writing tasks to help you write faster and better and save time and frustration.
The trick for writers is knowing how to use ChatGPT prompts for tasks like
- Idea generation and brainstorming
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) including keywords
- Deepening and expanding content
- Editing and improving your writing
- Social media content creation
- Motivational support
- And much more
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a computer whiz or prompt engineer to use ChatGPT. Learning the best writing prompts for ChatGPT and how to use them will get you started.
What Version of ChatGPT Should You Use?
With the free version of ChatGPT, you’ll have access to GPT-3.5 with regular updates. It’s available on desktop, iOS, and Android.
Keep in mind that the training cut-off for ChatGPT-3.5 was January 2022. That means it has no knowledge of events, discoveries, publications, etc. beyond that date. April 2023 was the training cut-off for ChatGPT-4.
For $20/month, you can get ChatGPT Plus, which means access to GPT-4, DALL-E for images, custom GPTs, and more. DALL-E is pretty cool. You just tell ChatGPT what you want, and voila! I created the image for this blog post with DALL-E, with some help from Gimp for the text.
The main differences between ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT Plus are speed, creativity, accuracy, and options. I also think ChatGPT Plus is friendlier and provides more detailed responses.
Writing Prompts for ChatGPT Demystified
So, what are prompts? Prompts are the questions and information that guide ChatGPT and direct it to generate content that aligns with your specific needs and goals. They’re the key to unlocking any content-generating AI’s full potential, and learning how to create the best writing prompts for ChatGPT is essential if you want to use this powerful AI tool.
Without prompts, ChatGPT can’t do a thing. Think of the chatbots you see on websites. Sure, many give you an automatic greeting, like “How can I help you today?” But they can’t do anything else if you don’t ask a question.
The same is true for ChatGPT. Asking the right questions in the right way gets you the results you need. But it’s not complicated.
How to Craft the Best ChatGPT Prompts for Writing
The quality of your writing prompts directly affects the quality of the responses. Here are some tips:
Be specific and clear
Clearly state what you need from ChatGPT and explain details or constraints upfront. For example, instead of saying, “Please give me some ideas for articles about healthy food,” be specific. You might try, “Please list five ideas for articles about healthy soups or stews that don’t include meat.”
Use a conversational tone
ChatGPT fully understands English and many other languages, so you can relax, be friendly, and use a conversational tone. And have fun! ChatGPT can be witty and hilariously funny, depending on your communication style.
Try to use precise language and descriptions. Avoid slang or colloquialisms that ChatGPT might not have been trained to recognize. Vague prompts can lead to responses that don’t match your needs, just as humans can misunderstand a confusing question. Poorly written AI writing prompts can even lead to “hallucinations.” Think GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.
Use examples to clarify
Providing an example can be helpful if you’re looking for something specific, such as a writing style or format. Here’s a potential prompt: “Can you provide 10 ideas for an article about writing poetry? Please write the ideas in the style of William Shakespeare.” Check out ChatGPT’s response.
If your question or request builds on what you already discussed in a conversation, provide that context for ChatGPT (scroll down). This is particularly helpful if you return to the conversation hours or days later or if it’s lengthy and detailed. For example, you might try something like, “As we discussed previously in this conversation, I’m interested in article ideas about healthy soups and stews that don’t include meat. Could you provide 5 recipe ideas for your suggested article called ‘Exploring the World Bowl by Bowl: 5 International Vegetarian Soups?’”
Ask open-ended questions for research or exploration:
For brainstorming or background information, open-ended questions work well. Here’s a simple prompt I used with great results: “Hi there! I would like to discuss how you, ChatGPT, work.” We went back and forth for an hour, and I learned a lot. You could also try, “I’d like to have a conversation with you about…” This is ChatGPT at its best if you’re looking for in-depth explanations and background info. Just be sure to double-check facts with authoritative sources before using them in your writing.
Ask follow-up questions or request revisions
If ChatGPT’s response isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, explain your confusion, ask questions, or request clarification, just as you would with a friend!
Try different types of requests
Start with recommended writing prompts to get comfortable and explore. With practice and a little experimenting, you’ll get the most out of ChatGPT on your own.
Now, let’s get into the ChatGPT writing prompts!
Inspiration at Your Fingertips: 47 Must-Try Prompts for Writers
A well-crafted prompt ensures ChatGPT’s output is on-topic and tailored to your requirements. It also sets the tone, style, and scope of the content. Whether you’re looking for an overview of your topic, article ideas, outlines, editing help, keywords, motivation, or drafts for social media posts (and tons more), it all starts with the right prompt.
ChatGPT can help writers in countless ways.
Ignite Your Creativity: Brainstorming Prompts for ChatGPT
Sometimes, you just get stuck. Ideas just aren’t coming to you like they usually do. Maybe it’s a topic you don’t know much about, maybe you’re tired, or maybe you have other stuff on your mind. But you have to get the work done, and that’s all there is to it.
Put ChatGPT to work and get ideas for articles, blog posts, lead magnets — almost anything. Here are 5 prompts you can customize as needed.
- General Interest Prompt: Please create a list of 10 compelling topics about [specific industry or area of interest] for in-depth articles or blog posts.
- Problem-Solution Prompt: Please list 5 article ideas that address common challenges faced by [target audience].
- Listicle Ideas Prompt: Suggest topics for a Top 10 listicle relevant to [specific field or interest].
- How-To Guide Prompt: What are some practical how-to guide topics for beginners in [specific skill or activity]?
- Seasonal Topics Prompt: What are some seasonal article ideas for a [type of blog post/business] during [specific season or holiday]?
Here’s an example of a general interest prompt: “Please create a list of 10 compelling topics about dating and relationships for in-depth articles or blog posts.”
Rank Higher: ChatGPT’s SEO Keyword Prompts
When focusing on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the goal is to identify and use keywords and phrases to improve an article’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Here are some prompts to help you generate useful keywords, long-tail keywords, and semantic keywords for online content:
- Basic keyword suggestions prompt: Provide a list of relevant keywords for a blog post about [specific topic or niche].
- Long-tail keywords: Suggest long-tail keywords for content related to [specific topic], aimed at a [specific audience or intent].
- Synonym and variant keywords: List synonyms and variants of the keyword [specific keyword] that can be used in our content.
- Question-based keywords: What are common questions and corresponding keywords people ask about [specific topic]?
- Industry-specific keyword research: Identify key terms and phrases commonly used in the [specific industry] that I should include in my content.
Example of a prompt for question-based keywords: “What are common questions (and corresponding keywords) people ask about content writing, especially blog posts and articles? Please be clear about which words and phrases are the keywords.”
Outline Masterpieces with ChatGPT
Some writers live by outlines; others hate them. But if you don’t have a good sense of organization for an article — the main point or purpose, supportive ideas, conclusion — it will suck. Worse, you’ll waste a lot of time writing and rewriting. ChatGPT excels at outlines. Give these prompts a try.
- Simple outline: Create a simple outline for an article about [topic], with main points only.
- Detailed outline: Provide a detailed outline for a [blog post, article, lead magnet, etc.] on [topic]. Please include main points and subpoints.
- Chronological outline: Generate an outline that arranges the content in chronological order for a piece on [historical event or process].
- Problem-solution outline: Create an outline for a blog post that addresses [specific problem], detailing potential solutions and their implications or possible results.
- Comparative outline: Develop an outline for an article that compares [two or more items/entities], focusing on similarities and differences (or lists pros and cons for each).
Here’s an example of a simple outline for the prompt example above. “Please create a simple outline for an article about ‘The Psychology of Attraction: What Draws Us to Our Partners’ and provide only the main points.”
Create Captivating Headlines with ChatGPT
You need eye-catching titles and headlines to capture readers’ attention and encourage them to check out your content. Here are some effective writing prompts you can tailor to your needs. ChatGPT gives the best results if you provide details or a text snippet that includes the main ideas (e.g., your introduction).
- General headline or title ideas: Please create 10 catchy headlines for an article about [specific topic].
- SEO-focused title prompt: What are some SEO-friendly titles for a blog post on [specific topic] that include keywords like [list of keywords]?
- Question-based headline prompt: Create headlines in the form of a question for an article addressing [specific issue or topic].
- How-to headline creation: Suggest how-to titles for an instructional article on [specific skill or task].
- Listicle title prompt: Provide listicle headline ideas for an article that lists [number] ways to [achieve a specific goal or solve a problem] in [specific field or activity].
Example of general headline ideas: “Please create 10 catchy headlines for an article about how to choose the best laptop for busy writers who are on a budget or don’t want to spend much money.”
Beyond the Basics: Prompts for Expanding Content with ChatGPT
If you’re a freelance writer, you might have trouble hitting your word count occasionally. What more can you possibly add? Or maybe an article is too basic. ChatGPT to the rescue! These writing prompts help add more information, details, and depth to your content, which makes it more valuable for readers. Don’t forget to check the facts and revise carefully to put the information in your own words.
- Elaborate on a specific point or idea: Can you expand on the following point in my article, providing more details and examples? [Provide specific point or paragraph.]
- Add examples: Please provide some examples that could illustrate this concept more clearly. [Provide concept or idea.]
- Deepen or strengthen your viewpoint, opinion, or idea: How can I deepen the discussion in this section to make it more thorough and insightful? [Provide text section.]
- Add context or background information: Could you provide additional background or context to this part of my content? [Provide specific text.]
- Explore alternatives or counterarguments: What are some potential counterarguments or alternative perspectives to this point? [Provide text.]
- Expand on historical aspects: Can you elaborate on the historical background of this topic? [Provide your text on the topic.]
- Integrate related concepts or theories: How can I incorporate related concepts or theories into this section to enrich the content? [Provide section.]
- Enhance introduction or conclusion: Please help me expand the introduction (or conclusion) to make it more engaging and comprehensive. [Provide introduction or conclusion text.]
- Add FAQs: Can you suggest some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that I could add to this article? [Provide article topic and details or full text if it’s short.]
- Insert practical tips or advice: What practical tips or advice can I add to make this section more valuable for the reader? [Provide section.]
ChatGPT Prompts to the Rescue for Improving Your Writing
Writing and editing assistance, in terms of phrasing, style, and tone, is about refining and improving the way you present ideas. There are many types of editing, but even the best writers need to edit their work. Here are some creative ChatGPT prompts that can help:
- Phrasing improvement prompt: Can you suggest a more engaging way to phrase this sentence? [Provide specific sentence or paragraph.]
- Style adaptation prompt: Please rewrite the following paragraph in a [formal/informal/technical/creative] style. [Provide paragraph.]
- Tone adjustment request: How can I change the tone of this text to be more [friendly/professional/authoritative/witty]? Here’s the excerpt. [Provide text.]
- Vocabulary enhancement prompt: Please suggest more professional (or simpler, more concise) vocabulary for this piece of text. [Provide text.]
- Clarity and conciseness: Please edit this [sentence, paragraph, section] for clarity and brevity. [Provide text.]
- Transition Smoothing Prompt: How can I improve the transitions in this section? [provide text] Note: ChatGPT tends to go overboard with transitions, but you’ll get some good ideas.
- Humor Addition Prompt: How can I add a touch of humor to this content? [Provide content.] Note: Don’t hesitate to ask for a revision! Point out the problem and be specific about what you’re looking for.
Prompts like these help you fine-tune specific elements of your writing. They can also help you learn ways to improve your writing. Check out the example below if you tend to be wordy — or just for laughs. I asked ChatGPT to generate the “wordy” paragraph separately, and it’s a doozy!
Example of a prompt for clarity and conciseness: “Please edit this paragraph for clarity and conciseness. It’s for an article titled ‘Write on a Dime: Top Budget Laptops for Busy Writers.'”
ChatGPT Content Prompts for Social Media Stardom
Writing posts, captions, and updates for various social media platforms can be tedious and time-consuming. However, creating attention-grabbing social media content is essential for most online businesses. Be sure to edit the results carefully. You don’t want to sound like a robot.
- Post for article promotion: Compose a post for [social media platform] to promote our latest article titled [article title]. Include a brief teaser about the article’s main topic and a call to action encouraging followers to read and share.
- Inspirational quote caption: Create a caption for an Instagram post related to [specific theme or topic] and include an inspiring quote. (Be sure to fact-check the quote and author.)
- Event announcement update: Write a Facebook update announcing our upcoming event [event name], including the date, time, and how to register. Here are the details [list date, time, etc.].
- LinkedIn article teaser: Create a LinkedIn post teasing our latest article [article title], summarizing its key points, and inviting discussion. Here is the article [provide text, summary, introduction, or key points].
- Social media post prompt for product/service promotion: Draft a catchy social media post for [platform] to promote our new [product/service name]. Please highlight these features and benefits [provide details].
You can modify these writing prompts to suit different types of content across various social media platforms. Remember, adding relevant details and context helps ChatGPT provide the best results!
Example prompt for service promotion on social media: “Please draft a catchy social media post for Facebook to promote our new editing service. Highlight these features and benefits: [list].
Stay Inspired with ChatGPT’s Motivational Mantras
Every writer runs low on motivation sometimes, and writing and procrastination are like peanut butter and jelly. But when you absolutely must get something done, a little encouragement can help. Here are some ChatGPT writing prompts that can provide the support and inspiration you need, especially if you’re up late and nobody’s around for a chat!
- Overcoming writer’s block: Can you provide some motivational advice for dealing with writer’s block, especially when working on [specific type of writing]?
- Encouragement for starting a project: I’m having trouble starting my [book/article/blog post]. Could you give me some words of encouragement and tips to get going?
- Staying motivated during revisions: I’m in the middle of revising [a manuscript/article] and feel overwhelmed. How can I stay motivated and focused?
- Inspiration for creative writing: I’m feeling uninspired with my [type of writing, such as creative or freelance writing]. Can you suggest some exercises or ideas to spark my creativity?
- Maintaining momentum in long projects: What are some strategies or motivational tips for keeping up momentum when working on a long-term writing project like a [blog post series, ebook, novel, etc.]?
Example prompt for motivation: “I’m in the middle of revising a long article on a boring topic. The client’s instructions aren’t clear despite my requests for clarification. I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and discouraged. How can I stay motivated and focused?”
These ChatGPT prompts for writers help you save time and strengthen your writing, but they’re just starting points. Remember, the effectiveness of these prompts depends on your input. Provide details, be clear, explain your specific challenges, and ask follow-up questions. Practice and have fun! The more specific and detailed you are, the more useful ChatGPT’s responses will be.