If you want to create 1,000 content ideas in 11 minutes with the click of a button, then look no further than ChatGPT!
Writing with AI is the future of Digital Writing and today we want to give you a crash course in how to use it so you can stay relevant as a Digital Writer for the next 10 years,
We'll cover what it is, what it does well and what it doesn't do well, in addition to the most common mistakes people make when working with AI.
Before we dive in, it’s important to know that ChatGPT and AI writing platforms are not going to replace you as a writer. But they absolutely are going to change the way you write online. And the writers who can master these technologies will have a significant advantage. They will build the largest audiences, create the most efficient workflows, scale their writing and related businesses in epic time, and ultimately, will earn the most money.
Unfortunately, most people don't know what ChatGPT is even capable of. And those who do understand it, rarely use it correctly. But if you can take hold of how to leverage AI, then your writing will be 10X faster and you’ll be able to create a boatload of exceptional content.
But first things first.
What is ChatGPT?
It’s your intern!
It's like Clippy from the 90’s—on steroids.
But, ChatGPT is not a magic box where you can sit back and let it take over your job. It's your intern. You have to train and teach it. If you give ChatGPT minimal instruction, it will do it as if it's an intern that got zero guidance. And if you assume that ChatGPT will read your mind, it will disappoint you.
It's not ChatGPT's fault if you're not getting the output you want. It’s a reflection of the quality of your thinking. Garbage in results in garbage out. It's a completely capable intern, you just need to learn how to train it.
And if you think ChatGPT is just a fad, think again.
Microsoft just invested $10 billion and is already integrating ChatGPT into their search engine, Bing. Google is not far behind. Before you know it, AI will be the default fabric that is woven into everything.
So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve as a Digital Writer, you need to learn to leverage AI.
Let’s look at what ChatGPT doesn’t do so well.
3 Things ChatGPT Does Poorly
If you’ve been less than satisfied with ChatGPT’s responses, chances are you’ve hit on one the following core weaknesses of AI.
ChatGPT Weakness #1: Generate Ideas With Minimal Constraints
Whatever you put in ChatGPT is what comes out.
And if what's coming out isn't very clear, it’s a signal that you're thinking isn't clear. ChatGPT does not generate (good) ideas with minimal constraints.
For example, we asked ChatGPT to give us three article ideas. And what came back was an idea about AI in healthcare, one about sustainable living, and another one about remote work.
It’s all over the place.
Which makes it easy to dismiss ChatGPT’s capability. But what’s actually happening is we didn't give ChatGPT enough of a constraint to keep it focused. We didn't teach it well enough.
Once we clarified our thoughts on what we wanted, "three article ideas about physical therapy for elderly people recovering from a broken hip", immediately the quality improved tenfold.
Why? Because we gave it constraints. AI can’t read your mind, you have to give it the constraints that you want in order to get the result that you're looking for.
So, now more than ever, you need to invest in your own thinking.
How else are you going to leverage AI?
ChatGPT Weakness #2: Make Subjective Decisions (Style, Personal Preferences, etc.) Without Clear Instruction
AI can’t read your mind.
For example, if we tell AI to tell us a joke, how is it supposed to know what we think is funny? It’s like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping that it comes up with something.
AI doesn’t do well with subjective questions, but if you get more specific. AI will know exactly what to get you. Aim for being objective.
AI does much better with an objective command like, “Tell me a joke about how humans are addicted to coffee in the style of Jerry Seinfeld.” Humans are good at subjective and creative decision making. AI is way better than humans at objective decision making.
Let the technology do what it does best and elevate yourself into what you do best.
ChatGPT Weakness #3: Answer Open-Loop Questions vs Closed-Loop Questions
AI is not God. It’s a robot.
If you ask a huge open loop question, like what’s the meaning of life? It’s not going to know what you want. Remember, tell your intern exactly what you want, “I need you to go to do these 3 very specific things.” Be aware of whether you are asking open loop questions or closed loop questions.
Objective closed loop questions are where you are going to get the best result.
Alright, that’s what ChatGPT does poorly.
Now before we dig into what it does really well, let’s take a look at the three biggest mistakes writers make when interacting with ChatGPT.
What Most People Get Wrong About ChatGPT
Every day, hundreds of thousands of creators are looking to ChatGPT to answer innumerable questions to help with their writing tasks.
- What’s the meaning of life?
- What are the best travel destinations?
- How can you make money investing in real estate?
And every day, they make the same mistakes over and over again.
Here are the top 3 we see:
Mistake # 1: Outsourcing Your Ideas
We aren’t huge fans of outsourcing “ideas” to AI.
Ideas are the most creative part of writing—which means it’s actually the hardest thing for AI to do well (contrary to popular belief). You don’t want to outsource your thinking. You want to outsource the doing.
Mistake # 2: Not Being Specific About What You Want
Specificity is the secret!
Any time you're asking for something, it doesn't matter if you're asking a human intern or your AI intern, you want to get as specific as possible.
What most people do with AI is ask something like, “give me investing tips.”
But, what kind?
There are lots of different kinds of investing. You could invest in stocks, private companies, real estate, creators, cryptocurrencies, etc. If you don't specify “what kind” AI isn't going to know what you're talking about and it's going to spit back a generalized answer.
Look at V1 versus V7. You are going to get totally different tips because there's so much more clarity over what you want. If you're not getting the output you want, you don't have clarity over what you're asking for.
No different than sitting down with a pen.
Mistake # 3: Failure To “Train” AI With Examples
AI tools are trained to repeat what millions of people have already said on the internet.
They spit out "existing knowledge" rearranged.
AI is exceptionally good at this task. And what most people don’t know is that you can train AI to write how YOU want it to write. Which means you can give AI examples of writing that you like and it will write—exactly how you instruct it to write.
Now that you know what ChatGPT does poorly and the mistake to avoid, let’s get into the best ways to use AI as a writer!
The 7 Best Ways To Use ChatGPT As A Writer
The game of writing is changing.
And as a Digital Writer, you now have a choice to make.
You can refuse to let go, hold on, and try to compete with the robots, or you can relinquish control, elevate yourself, and focus on the highest leverage (human) tasks. The writers who elevate themselves and focus on things like thinking and developing frameworks that AI can leverage will be the ones who produce the highest quality work the fastest and make the most money.
The truth is, AI is better than you at “doing.” And the writers who chose not to elevate, will spend the rest of their lives competing on doing, which is a race to the bottom.
You don't want to get paid to “do” you want to get paid to think
When you elevate into thinking, you immediately get out of the competing / doing game. You ascend in leverage—outsourcing the doing to another human or to AI. And once you ascend into thinking, you can accomplish more, and you have pricing power. Because the person who is getting paid to think will make more than someone who “does.”
You are turning yourself into a conductor.
You have an army of interns in your orchestra.
You are going to conduct the show.
ChatGPT Key #1: Outlining
Train ChatGPT on the type of thing you want to “create,” and cycle through a bunch of different outline options.
What used to take you hours to accomplish manually, you can now do in seconds.
But in order for you to maximize it, you have to provide AI with a structure or a framework. For example, we tried this for fiction writing with a very basic four part story structure
- Part one: Introduce the main character A
- Part two: Show the main character A’s secret life
- Part three: Introduce main character B
- Part four: Show how the main character’s lives intersect
We tried this for a workplace romance then a sci-fi novel, then a murder mystery etc. We just cycled through endless outlines and AI churned out idea after idea. This works amazingly well IF you give it the constraint. But if you just ask, “give me a mystery idea” or “give me an idea for a nonfiction article,” it's not going to know what to do.
Your job is to create the container, then let AI create the outline.
ChatGPT Key #2: Formatting
Give ChatGPT a block of text and tell it exactly how you’d like it formatted & rewritten.
Dickie does 90% of his writing from his phone, putting ideas into bullets while he is on a walk, Then instead of taking the notes, formatting them, editing for proper grammar, and turning them into an Atomic Essay he trained his “intern” to do the formatting for him.
- This is a numbered list.
- Make the first few words before the first period bold.
- Add in proper capital capitalization and correct grammar.
- Write a 350 word Atomic Essay and make it flow.
Wabam! Instantly done.
If you have been writing for any length of time, think of the number of hours it takes to do things like rewrite and reformat. And once you realize AI can do what you would do anyway, imagine the massive amount of time you can save.
Now you can dictate your ideas and have AI automate the rest.
All you have to do is come up with the idea and think through it.
ChatGPT Key #3: Rewriting
Ask your intern to write in a different voice.
Give ChatGPT an existing piece of work, create constraints, and cycle through “stylistic” options.
- Rewrite this for an academic setting.
- Rewrite this and make it persuasive.
- Rewrite this in the style of J.K. Rowling
- Rewrite this in a more lighthearted way.
- Rewrite this in the style of Gay Vaynerchuk.
- Rewrite this in the style of Ernest Hemingway.
- Rewrite this like someone is dying and it's their final words to their grandson.
Try on different voices and styles and compare it to your own voice.
You are the conductor.
ChatGPT Key #4: Research
Ask ChatGPT to pull specific dates, times, historical facts, descriptions, etc., like a research assistant would.
For example, what are five times in history Pepsi’s stock fell past a normal amount and what caused it? If you had to do this manually, it would take you 5 to 10 hours to go read through a bunch of articles and figure out when and why Pepsi stock took a dip in 2008. Your digital intern can do the research for you in 10 seconds.
And if we wanted to dig even deeper, we could give it another constraint, “Tell me Pepsi’s worst five months over the last year compared to the S&P 500 and what happened.”
The more valuable the thinking, the more valuable the result.
ChatGPT Key #5: Curation
Ask ChatGPT to curate relevant, researched information into cleanly formatted “lists.”
ChatGPT has awareness of literally everything that's ever been created on the internet. Which means you can curate it. Choose a topic, an angle, and a number of things you want, then ask your intern to go find it. ChatGPT is excellent at going out and doing all the work for you.
Ask ChatGPT to find the five best ad campaigns in history. Then unpack the reasons why each of the campaigns worked. Then drill into one of the campaigns and dissect the lessons and patterns that copywriters can learn from the ad. It’s an infinite rabbit hole.
This is Lean Writing with ChatGPT.
ChatGPT Key #6: Thesaurus
Ask ChatGPT for alternatives to words, phrases, metaphors, images, descriptions, stories, etc.
For example, we tried asking for an advanced word for conversational? When it came back with a word we didn’t understand, garrulous, we asked our intern to use it in a sentence. Suddenly we had a digital assistant sitting right next to us at all times. They don’t talk, they don’t interrupt, and they don’t speak unless spoken to.
You can ask your intern for anything you need, and they will immediately respond with, “I got you. Here you go!”
ChatGPT Key #7: “Thinking”
Present your ideas and frameworks-in-progress to ChatGPT and ask it questions—to stress-test your own thinking.
Think of ChatGPT like a hotline to your friends when you are coming up with ideas. You can use it to help you see things in a new way and get unstuck from your own patterns of thinking, turning it into your own feedback device.
For example, Dickie fed ChatGPT ten character traits he wants to live by. Then he asked it to come up with three values that he could use to remember those ten buckets. He used ChatGPT to organize his thoughts and put the pieces together in new ways, playing around with his core values.
Now this is where it gets interesting.
Dickie then shared three decisions he was evaluating relative to where he would invest his time during the week. He asked ChatGPT to consider his values and asked for the right answer. ChatGPT proceeded to break down in front of him, what he would normally do in his head, right before his eyes. Crazy!
How To Generate 1,000 Ideas In 11 Minutes In 6 Steps
Hold on to your hat because your mind is about to be blown!
When you combine ChatGPT with our Lean Writing approach, what would take you days, weeks, even months to create, you can now do in a matter of minutes.
Here are the steps:
- Step 1: Use the 2-Year Test to come up with ideas.
- Step 2: Determine the promise you’re making to the reader (to learn, to hire, etc.)
- Step 3: Choose what you will offer the reader for reading (tips, mistakes, etc.)
- Step 4: Train your intern to create ideas with the 2-Year test, incentives, and approaches
- Step 5: Hit your enter key
- Step 6: Turn each idea into a tweet, a thread, and an Atomic Essay
We covered a TON of ground in this post.
If you want to stay relevant as a Digital Writer for the next 10 years, and you are ready to easily generate hundreds of pieces of content using ChatGPT, then now is the time to take action.
- Create your own AI-driven “research assistant.”
- Outsource the most “manual” parts of the writing process.
- Generate 10x more content using ChatGPT and the Lean Writing approach
Click here to grab your copy of our Start Writing With ChatGPT Mini-Course and unlock the power of Al to generate 10x more content!
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