It’s quite a time to be alive! We have cars that drive themselves, ovens you can control from your phone, and bots that can write copy for you. Not quite all the Jetsons promised, but pretty impressive nonetheless! I know you want to jump right into the juicy details of how I’m using ChatGPT for content creation in my content management business. But before we do that, let’s have a quick heart-to-heart.
Content Manager’s Toolkit: Harnessing the Power of ChatGPT for Content Creation
I will admit that when content-creating AI tools like Jasper and Copy.AI first started gaining popularity, I dug in my heels a bit. I thought there was no way a computer would be able to take my thoughts and create content that was as relevant to my audience as I could on my own. And I certainly wasn’t going to pay for it. Then along came ChatGPT, which I could use for free, and my tune began to change as I played with the tool. I laugh at my naive self now, but I want you to know where I started. I wasn’t ready to hitch my wagon to AI.
Once I finally got over my ego and began experimenting with the tool, I realized how much potential it has to enhance my content. You read that right. I said enhance because it doesn’t have to replace what you’re already creating.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today – how you can use AI tools (specifically ChatGPT) to support your content creation process and make it even better.
ChatGPT Best Practices
In order to reap the time-saving benefits of ChatGPT for content creation, you have to know how to use the tool effectively. I’m no ChatGPT expert, but after a few weeks of playing around with the tool, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to get the most out of it.
Give plenty of context
To put it simply, what you put in is going to dictate what you get out. Context is key. The more information you can provide the tool about what you’re wanting to receive, the closer it’s going to get to hitting that target.
For example, if I type “content creation” into the message bar, I get several paragraphs that talk about content creation in very general terms. I may be able to pull a few nuggets out, but more than likely, it’s not what I’m after.
But, when I get more specific and tell the tool that I am a business coach wanting to create an Instagram post containing 5 time-saving tips for creating content, my output matches my intention.
Ask follow-up questions
Imagine you’re having a conversation with a person when you engage with ChatGPT for content creation. Would you ask someone a question, receive their answer, and walk away? No! You would ask follow-up questions, and with those questions, you’d get more information from that person.
A simple question to ask that can often lead to even more ideas is, “what else do I need to know to XYZ”?
Use separate chats when you switch topics
To keep the tool and yourself from getting confused, always open a new chat when you’re ready to move on to a different subject.
This one got me when I first started playing with ChatGPT. I started asking unrelated questions in the same chat and eventually noticed some of the information was being woven together. That’s because ChatGPT uses what it finds on the web to generate its response and what it’s already generated within that conversation.
This is actually pretty cool because you can reference things farther up the chat, and it knows what you’re referring to.
Experiment and ask questions in different ways
Like I said, your output is only as good as your input. So, if you don’t get what you were expecting on the first try, think about how to reword your request or question. Maybe you weren’t totally clear about what you were asking. Maybe you needed to include a few more details.
The more you play with the tool, the more you’ll learn how to get what you want faster or how to ask effective follow-up questions.
How I’m using ChatGPT for Content Creation
Now that we’ve set the stage let’s jump into how I’m using this tool to enhance my content creation efforts in my own business. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of ways you can use the tool, just how I currently use it.
Y’all, I will be the first to admit that coming up with ideas is not my strong suit. Once I have the idea, I can pretty easily run with it, but that initial ideation piece has me staring at a blank screen more than I’d like to admit.
ChatGPT has been clutch for this reason. I can think about a broader topic and then ask the tool to give me X number of ideas for blog posts/social media captions/podcast episodes, etc.
Once I have a list of ideas, I can start putting pen to paper. But if I need some help organizing my thoughts or figuring out which direction to go, I can ask ChatGPT a follow-up question to get me even further down the road. I can ask for an outline.
While I might not use every single section in the provided outline, it at least helps me envision the flow of the post and helps me think of angles I may have overlooked.
A jumping-off point
Do you ever have those days where writer’s block is so strong? Normally on those days, I’ll find another less creative task to do and give content creation a shot another day when I feel more inspired. But sometimes, I have to buckle down and get it done even if the creative juices aren’t flowing.
On those days, I like to use ChatGPT as a jumping-off point for my writing. Sometimes all it takes is reading an intro paragraph, and suddenly the block is gone.
Looking at this, I can already tell there are things I would change (more on that later), but the point is I now have some text on the screen to get me started.
Changing the tone or length
Most of us have a tone that comes naturally to us. If you’ve spent a chunk of your career in a very formal corporate setting, your writing style is probably a little more polished. As a former newsie, I learned to write in a very conversational style because the words I wrote would be read aloud either by the anchor introducing the story or by me.
Sometimes, we need to adapt our writing style to fit another audience or tweak something in our own style. Maybe you need to be more persuasive. Or, perhaps, you want your content to exude excitement. I tend to be a little long-winded. Sometimes that’s fine, but other times I need to be more concise.
In this example, I told ChatGPT, “make this Instagram caption more concise,” and then pasted the text from my caption (which was 2,142 characters).
ChatGPT chopped this baby down to 253 characters, including the hashtags! Now, you’ll notice I felt like that was a little too short, so what did I do? I provided feedback. I said it was a little too concise and asked it to rewrite but give a little more information.
The new post isn’t much longer (312 characters), but this is a good example to show you how it can chop a piece of content down and how your interaction with the tool can guide it.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I currently have the premium version of Grammarly, so most of my spelling, grammar, and awkward sentence errors are found while writing, but I’ve been playing with ChatGPT’s proofreading power. In this example, I’ve purposely included some spelling errors, and the tool fixed all of them and even reworked an awkward sentence to make it clearer.
I’ll continue to play with ChatGPT as a proofreading tool, but it does have me considering dropping down to the free version of Grammarly!
Creating titles & headlines
I generally leave titles or headlines until the end of my writing process. At that point, I have the content completely written and know exactly what’s included. I’ve used ChatGPT in two ways to help with creating engaging, click-worthy titles.
- I’ll create a title on my own and ask the tool for alternatives.
- I’ll give a summary of the content and ask it to create a few options for titles.
In this example, I provided the outline I created for this post and asked if there was anything else I should include. ChatGPT gave some suggestions, and then I asked it to provide options for a title.
As you’ll notice, I ended up using one of the titles it generated!
As someone who offers content repurposing as a service, I almost didn’t include this one. I don’t want to paint the picture that AI is the solution to all of your repurposing needs and that humans don’t need to play a role in it. Because I absolutely don’t think that. There is strategy involved with effective content repurposing …
But I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make the process faster.
For example, I used the text of this blog post and ask GPT to create an email newsletter teasing the post to drive people on my email list to my site. I didn’t use it word for word, but it served as my jumping-off point (like we talked about earlier).
I could also do the same thing for a social media caption.
Potential Watchouts & Things to Keep In Mind
Whew! That was a lot. I hope you’re getting a better idea of how you can use ChatGPT for content creation in your own business. But before I send you off to create, I want to point out a few things that I think you should be aware of and keep in mind as you use the tool.
Let’s be honest. The internet is full of false information. AI tools, like ChatGPT, scour the internet for information and could return something that’s not quite accurate. So before copying and pasting and publishing, make sure you read and think about the result it’s given you.
- Is this accurate?
- Does it fit with my point of view or perspective on the topic?
- Does it feel off to me?
It’s a bot
While it can spit out words that can add to a feeling (if you tell it to), at the end of the day, it’s a bot. It’s not emotionally intelligent. It doesn’t have lived experiences. It’s your job to add those things back into the content.
Which leads me to …
Add your personality
Please, for the love of God, don’t just copy, paste, and publish. There’s a 99% chance it won’t sound exactly like your voice.
Think of the content the tool produces as a cake, but just the flour, sugar, and eggs part of a cake. You wouldn’t serve a cake right out of the oven without icing or decorations! So don’t do that with your content, either!
Take the time to rework sentences that don’t feel like how you’d say them or add words that bring your sparkle to the piece. And don’t forget the personal stories and anecdotes. These personal touches not only make the content feel less AI-generated but also make it much more engaging to your audience.
To wrap this up, while I initially had doubts about using AI tools like ChatGPT for content creation, I’ve realized the value it can bring to my business. By following best practices like giving plenty of context, asking follow-up questions, using separate chats for different topics, and experimenting with different ways of asking questions, I’ve effectively used the tool to enhance (not replace) my content creation efforts.
From generating ideas to creating outlines and overcoming writer’s block, ChatGPT has become a valuable tool in my content management business, helping me create more relevant and engaging content for my audience. So, don’t be afraid to embrace the potential of AI in your content creation process – it might just surprise you with its capabilities and help you take your content to the next level.
If you use AI tools for content creation, I’d love to know how you use them! Let me know in the comments.