Content Strategy

How To Write Great Content With AI Prompts

July 11, 2023
By Guest

Artificial Intelligence is popping up everywhere in our lives. For marketers and small business owners, there has been a huge impact on content creation

  • Writers can turbocharge their delivery time and quality by using AI
  • They can save hours of precious time
  • Writer’s block is nearly a thing of the past!
  • According to AuthorityHacker, 85.1% of AI users are tapping into it to write content 

In short, AI is becoming a game-changer.

While it sounds fantastic, if you’ve already tried to write using AI you may have discovered a challenge: despite your best efforts at providing the AI with a clear and actionable prompt, the generated content can often be underwhelming (to say the least). 

So, what’s the secret to creating prompts for content generators that are not only efficient but high quality? In short, it’s how we present our ideas. 

Today, we’re going to explore six strategies for getting the content you need from your AI generator.

1. Make Prompts Clear and Specific

If you spend any time with programmers, you will eventually hear the phrase, “Computers are stupid.” What they mean by this is that computers can’t think for themselves

For now, artificial intelligence can only produce according to the quality of its instructions. Therefore, your prompt has to be clear and direct, or your quality is going to be subpar. A vague or broad prompt leaves too much room for the AI to guess your intention. And AI is terrible at guessing intentions.

Here is an example to show what we mean here:

  1. “Write about dogs.”
  2. “Write an informative article about the benefits of canine dental charting, focusing on the benefits, uses, and best practices.”

The first prompt is way too vague. The AI is going to look at that example and go in any direction including writing an article about dog breeds, dog training, dog shows, dog health, and so on. 

The second prompt is what you want. It’s clear, specific, rich in detail, and allows the AI to generate content that is way closer to what you want. 

It’s beneficial to do a little upfront research, and compile information you can use to make the prompt more specific. For instance, if you’re writing an article about the specific types of canine teeth, you’d want to look up key details that should be covered and use that information as part of your prompt. 

After all, if you want the AI to write more specifically about certain details or use cases, you’ll first have to know what details or use cases exist. 

2. Use Open-Ended Questions

Before you start even using AI, you have to understand its strengths and limitations. 

AI can process vast amounts of data and create content that’s coherent and even well-structured. But it’s never going to understand context and nuances the way a human writer can. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid using Yes or No questions in favour of open-ended questions.

The purpose behind this is to coerce the AI into an explorative writing process. While you want to be specific enough to avoid being vague, you also want to give it the freedom to “think” more broadly and creatively. 

For example, instead of asking “Is adopting a rescue dog beneficial?” ask “What are the benefits of adopting a rescue dog?” The first will earn a binary answer. The second allows more nuance and possibility.

3. Using Formulaic Approaches

AI runs on algorithms, therefore it’s beneficial to use formulaic approaches when making content with it. Structure your prompts in a way that lays out clear instructions for the AI. Guide it toward your desired output.

One such approach is the ‘Purpose-Method-Result’ (PMR) formula. What’s excellent about this approach is that it provides a structure that the AI can follow while generating the content. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Purpose: Explain what you want the content to achieve.
  • Method: Describe how you want the content written.
  • Result: Specify the outcome you expect from the content.

For example, a PMR prompt could be: “Write a persuasive blog post (Purpose) using statistics and real-world examples (Method) that encourages readers to adopt rescue dogs (Result).” Outline the goal, then provide instructions on how to achieve it.

4. The Power of Examples

AI “learns” by way of example. ChatGPT uses vast swaths of examples from the internet combined with its algorithms to produce its content. Leveraging examples in your prompts can work wonders for content creation with AI

For instance, if you want the AI to write in a specific style, provide a sample sentence or paragraph in that style. If you want it to write about a complex topic, provide a brief outline or a few key points you want to be covered. Provide examples, and you’re giving the AI a roadmap to follow that makes it far easier to get the results you’re looking for with your content.

Let’s revisit the previous prompt: “Write a persuasive blog post using statistics and real-world examples that encourages readers to adopt rescue dogs.” 

Now let’s incorporate the example idea by adding, “For example, the post could start by discussing the number of rescue dogs in shelters, highlight a few heartwarming stories of successful adoptions, and then follow up with the emotional and health benefits of adopting such dogs.”

5. Iteration, Iteration, Iteration

AI learns by making mistakes, much like we do. It’s simply not going to get things right the first time. You have to be patient, and you have to iterate. Keep refining and experimenting. Your content quality will improve more and more over time.

When refining, you can adjust the prompt’s specificity, or your questions’ structure, or even add more examples until the AI produces content closer to what you want. The feedback loop is paramount. Without it, AI would never improve. 

Over time, you’ll become an expert at communicating with it in a way that gets it to produce content nearly perfectly the first time.

6. Using AI for SEO

SEO writing requires strategic use of keywords while ensuring the content is both engaging and informative. 

An example of an AI prompt for SEO could be: “Write a 1500-word SEO-optimized article on ‘The Benefits of Adopting Rescue Dogs,’ using the keywords ‘rescue dogs,’ ‘benefits of adoption,’ and ‘adopt, don’t shop’ at least three times each. The tone should be friendly and engaging, yet informative. Include statistics, real-life examples, and a call-to-action encouraging adoption at the end.”

You can see how this prompt clearly outlines the word count, the tone, the use of keywords, and the structure of the article. It’s everything the AI needs to generate optimized SEO content.

Embracing AI in Content Creation

Adopting AI in your content creation process is going to save you a ton of  time and effort. I won’t lie – the transition will seem daunting at first, especially if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy. 

That said, all you need is patience and a little logical thinking. It’s simply too important of a tool to overlook in content creation. 

To summarize, craft effective AI prompts by making your prompts clear and specific. Incorporate open-ended questions and use formulaic approaches. Provide plenty of examples, to make it easier for it. And remember to iterate on your prompts to continually improve the quality. 

As you master these techniques, you’ll find that AI can far surpass your expectations for efficiency and quality of content.

Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.