Why Your ChatGPT Prompts Aren’t Working (And How to Fix Them), According to HubSpot’s SEO Team

There’s a number of hype round ChatGPT and AI fashions prefer it. It will possibly take a single immediate and rework it into a wholly new piece of content material. It will possibly analysis nearly any subject, and ship its findings within the type of poetry, code, lyrics, and extra.

And but, once you hearth up ChatGPT and feed it a immediate, it responds with one thing… removed from excellent. It is too broad, too lengthy, too bland, or misses the mark solely.

This typically occurs once we do not know tips on how to ask, in AI-terms, what we wish. In different phrases, the output is just pretty much as good because the enter. So, if you wish to grasp AI, understanding tips on how to write a very good immediate is essential.

Right here, I spoke to HubSpot’s search engine marketing crew to know the important thing parts of a very good immediate, together with some useful immediate writing ideas and methods.

Free Report: The State of Artificial Intelligence in 2023

Desk of Contents

How you can Write the Good AI Immediate

Immediate Writing Strategies

How you can Write the Good AI Immediate

AI Prompt Writing formula

1. Envision your preferrred response.

It is tempting to load up ChatGPT and soar proper into the immediate. Nevertheless, Josh Blyskal, Affiliate search engine marketing Strategist at HubSpot, recommends a extra introspective method.

“The very first thing it’s best to do is work out what you need. Earlier than I sort something, I all the time take a second to examine what the ultimate output will appear to be,” he instructed me.

He provides an instance of a marketer who needs to generate a advertising plan. As an alternative of typing “Write me a advertising plan” into ChatGPT, she ought to take the time to examine what the plan seems to be like — what number of sections it has, what number of bullet factors are underneath every part, and what info it incorporates.

Now that she has a greater grasp of the duty at hand, it turns into a lot simpler to compose a immediate that checks all of the packing containers.

2. Write a selected, action-oriented process.

AI fashions thrive on specificity. Should you feed it with imprecise directions, you give it room to interpret what it thinks you need.

For instance, suppose you immediate ChatGPT to “Rewrite this [article/email/Tweet],” anticipating it to write down one thing new and unique. As an alternative, it regurgitates your unique message utilizing the identical phrases and phrases.

The answer is to get particular and intentional along with your phrases.

As an alternative of “Rewrite,” as an illustration, you may say reimagine, broaden, simplify, or modernize. Even a small change in the way in which you phrase a immediate can considerably change the response.

As Blyskal factors out, “Lots of people deal with AI like a inflexible system that may be hacked with the appropriate phrases or phrases, however that is not the case. There are not any secret key phrases that may assure the most effective outcomes. It is like taking part in a sport of phrases, and it’s a must to suppose deliberately in regards to the ones you utilize.”

3. Set the stage with context.

You may get away with stopping on the earlier step — particularly in case your request is pretty easy (e.g., “Write 5 knock-knock jokes for youths”).

Nevertheless, you’ll be able to supercharge your prompts by padding them with context. This provides the AI mannequin extra substances to prepare dinner up an amazing response.

Bianca D’Agostino, search engine marketing Specialist at HubSpot, places it this manner: “Suppose your buddy asks you to go to the shop and choose up just a few issues. You undoubtedly want extra context – which retailer, what issues, what is the price range, and so forth. The extra context you get out of your buddy, the simpler it’s to do the duty. The identical goes for AI!”

Let us take a look at an instance:

Prompt Writing Context

Each of those prompts may yield good outcomes, however the second immediate will provide you with a extra detailed and compelling description. It’s because the AI mannequin has extra context to work with, together with the product’s identify (‘Squeaky Queen’), its type (a scrub), and its key options (vegan, gluten-free, recyclable packaging).

4. Add clear directions.

Though Al fashions are highly effective, they nonetheless want you to take the lead. With out clear directions, they’re basically a chef with no recipe or a brand new worker with no handbook.

Here is an instance: Think about you have to write an article about Instagram advertising. Together with the primary process (“Write an article about Instagram advertising“), you additionally instruct ChatGPT to:

  • “Cowl the next sub-topics…”
  • “Incorporate the next quote/statistic…”
  • “Add an instance to display…”

Not solely are you giving ChatGPT a transparent subject, however you are additionally guiding and shaping the content material itself. You are including quotes, statistics, and examples to provide the output extra texture.

After all, it isn’t simply what you say however the way you say it. The content material of the article is likely to be as much as par, however it could lack a singular voice or perspective. That is the place fashion and tones are available.

Including Model and Tone

For Sylviain Charbit, HubSpot Senior Technical search engine marketing Specialist, including fashion to prompts is a multi-step course of. He begins by letting the AI device generate a basic reply after which progressively molds its response for fashion.

“You possibly can ask it to encourage itself from a scenario, character, or occupation, or present it with already made examples to emulate,” he instructed me. Charbit additionally incorporates tone modifiers, corresponding to “cheerful,” “humorous,” or “authoritative,” to information the AI additional.

Let us take a look at some examples:

Prompt Writing examples of style, tone, and perspective

Different fashion parameters embrace size and format. You possibly can specify the size of the response (e.g., “Preserve the article underneath 800 characters”) and its format (e.g., “Create an inventory of bullet factors”).

5. Make clear and Refine

Blyskal follows the 60% Rule.

He instructed me, “If you generate one thing and it is no less than 60% of what you need, it’s best to proceed refining that particular immediate. But when it falls wanting that, it is likely to be time to start out from scratch.”

So, if you happen to ask ChatGPT to generate ten weblog concepts and also you solely like two, it is a good indication to return to the drafting board. Even if you happen to meet the 60% threshold, you’ll be able to nonetheless refine the output by giving follow-up directions corresponding to, “Make it sound extra conversational” or “Condense this into one paragraph.”

Keep in mind that immediate writing is not a precise science. Like all inventive course of, it typically takes a number of revisions to get the appropriate output.

Immediate Writing Strategies

Give It a Position

Position-playing is a way that includes asking the AI mannequin to undertake a selected function, job, or perform.

“If you ask an AI mannequin to play a selected function, you are giving it a sure stage of experience,” Blyskal instructed me. “For example, if you happen to immediate it to behave as an expert interviewer, it would search for examples of fine interviewing abilities and reply with professional-seeming questions.”

By defining a job for the AI mannequin to play— corresponding to an expert interviewer, a graphic designer, or a nutritionist — you are additionally tapping into completely different viewpoints and views, which might be particularly useful for entrepreneurs.

For instance, as an example you are launching a brand new product, a chilly plunge tub. You might want to create an advert that appeals to your target market: particularly, long-distance runners. On this state of affairs, you ask the AI mannequin to play the function of your target market and checklist the important thing advantages of your product.

ChatGPT prompt writing example

Now the AI mannequin will generate responses that align with the wants and preferences of long-distance runners. This provides you precious perception into your viewers, enabling you to create a extra compelling and related advert.

Chain of Thought

Think about you are on a street journey, and also you’re counting on GPS to information you from level A to level B. All through the journey, it provides you turn-by-turn instructions till you attain your vacation spot.

Chain of thought prompting follows an analogous method. You give the AI mannequin one immediate after one other, with every immediate constructing on the one earlier than it. This retains the mannequin on monitor, providing you with larger management of the output.

Chain of Thought Prompting

“You are mainly asking the AI mannequin to elucidate its reasoning at every step. Should you do not like all of the reasons, you’ll be able to tinker with the output till it is prepared for the subsequent immediate,” Blyskal explains.

That is preferrred for duties that may be damaged down into smaller steps. For instance, take into account a copywriter utilizing AI to create an article. She first prompts it to create an overview. As soon as she’s proud of the define, she prompts it to write down the article, after which the headline, after which the meta description. She would not transfer to the subsequent step till she’s happy with the present output.

That is the ability of chain prompting. By guiding the mannequin in a logical sequence, you generate extra correct and related responses.

Present Examples

“If there’s anybody tip that can take your prompting to the subsequent stage, it is offering examples to the AI mannequin,” Blyskal instructed me.

You possibly can consider examples as reference factors, serving to the AI mannequin emulate a sure fashion, tone, construction, or format. On prime of that, AI can analyze a chunk of content material and provide enhancements.

Again to You

Blyskal stated it greatest: “On the core of prompting is dialog.” You do not engineer or program AI. As an alternative, you speak to it.

Like all dialog, you naturally alter your tone, present ample context, and share particulars, anecdotes, and examples to provide your story texture. These are the identical parts that make a very nice immediate.

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