Writing Content with ChatGPT: A 5-step process

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Powered by GPT-4, ChatGPT is an attractive tool for content marketers.

It can produce engaging, consistent, and compelling texts in record time. It can even be tailored to the brand voice, industry knowledge, and SEO optimizations that marketers have in mind.

What’s not to like? 

But to leverage the full potential of ChatGPT, you should be aware of its internal limitations and integrate it into a well-thought-out content creation process. 

From my own experience with the tool, let’s see how you can do it.

What are the writing skills of ChatGPT-4?

With GPT-4 powering ChatGPT, the chatbot has become an outstanding writing tool. Compared to other content creation tools, ChatGPT-4 demonstrates superior capabilities such as :     

Fact-finding and fact-summary

ChatGPT can produce very accurate summaries of all the knowledge on specific topics. While it can hallucinate ideas, this rarely happens in more documented fields.

Creativity and divergent thinking 

Creativity is not solely a human trait. If you ask it, ChatGPT is able to figure out a list of new original ideas or imagine previously unknown analogies. It can think of a poem or song that adheres to a strict set of rules or invent improbable stories. 

Consistent reasoning 

Past AI writing tools struggled to maintain a consistent message throughout 100-word paragraphs. ChatGPT however can write 10,000 words with the same point of view. It can reason in a very logical way and defend a claim with convincing arguments.

Engaging writing 

Whichever tone or writing style you have in mind, ChatGPT can deliver. With a high-quality prompt, It can write readable and compelling texts that keep readers hooked.

What are the existing limitations of GPT-4 for content writing?

However impressive ChatGPT capabilities are, they still are far from perfect. The chatbot still demonstrates significant limitations : 

Lack of up-to-date data 

ChatGPT’s data only goes up to September 2021. To make it worse, its knowledge is also limited to what is written online. Say you want to write about specific topics not adequately covered by existing online sources, there’s a high chance that ChatGPT will hallucinate some part of the content. 

Absence of sourcing and references

ChatGPT does not yet credit its thoughts and ideas from its training data. And when you ask for references, it might still invent them on the spot. This is bad for information reliability and to get back to the original authors for extended research. 

Limited understanding of social context 

Don’t seem to know much about Jasper AI and what its persona are looking for

ChatGPT is not provided with an innate understanding of social expectations. It won’t understand the social specifics of your audience and what they most care about in their daily life.

It won’t naturally understand which marketing goals you want to reach with your content, and why it’s important for the business of your company. You have to tell it exactly which role it has to play as content marketer for your company and provide extensive details about your audience. 

Time-consuming personalization 

By default, ChatGPT won’t take into account your business knowledge, industry experience, or brand tone to create your content.

It is only made to give the most likely response, which is generally very generic material. When you want to personalize its output to your brand specifics, you have to give it sophisticated prompts and tell it everything that your company’s specialists take for granted.

What productivity gains from using ChatGPT-4 for content creation?

I’ve extensively tried out ChatGPT on my content operations. From this experience, I’ve determined the average productivity gains you can expect from its usage. Let’s imagine you want to create a blog article of 2000 words on a technical subject. That’s what the workflow will look like and the time you could save out of it : 

1. Research work: 2 hours reduced to 1h45 min

ChatGPT can be used to get an initial overview of your subject, but it can’t replace proper research work. The tool can only provide you with superficial and generic knowledge. It will only enable you to write pieces of information that are already widely known.

To find new insights, you have to rely on external resources such as subject-matter expert interviews, your company’s documentation, academic research, or your own research and experience.

That’s why you’ll only save a limited time in your research phase by using ChatGPT.

2. Building the Outline: 1 hour reduced to 45 min

You can ask ChatGPT to outline your content. But I wouldn’t recommend it for the same reason as before: ChatGPT can only rely on generic knowledge.

As a result, its outlines will feel too generic and not enough sensitive to the human subtleties of your subject. Since your outline will determine the core of your content, you can’t hand it over to an AI.

You can start by asking ChatGPT for a first outline though, and then refine it based on the insights you collected in your research.  

3. Writing: 5 hours reduced to 2h

That’s where ChatGPT makes all the difference. What takes hours for a human writer to produce, ChatGPT takes seconds. That’s the sheer scaling power of Generative AI.

Since you have already outlined your ideas, you just have to ask it to turn these ideas into compelling paragraphs. Here, the quality of the output will heavily depend on the quality of your prompt.

I’ll give you an ideal prompt below, but you can expect high productivity gains. 

4. Proofreading and Editing: 2 hours reduced to 1h30min

ChatGPT produces paragraphs and formulations that can feel redundant and unnatural for a human reader. It will especially structure each of the paragraphs in more or less the same way.

That means you have to edit the output to make it feel more genuine and less predictable.

Nevertheless, the chatbot can help you spot typos and grammar mistakes, and make the text cleaner. You can ask it to proofread your text but be prepared to make the last edits by yourself. 

In total, you can expect to reduce your writing process time from 10 hours to 6 hours, which means generally 40% of productivity gains. 

Impressive? Definitely. But you have to get a solid writing process to make these gains possible.

Creating high-quality content with ChatGPT: a step-by-step method 

Here’s a proven process that leverages ChatGPT to produce quality content faster : 

1. Gather first-hand and second-hand knowledge 

The more unique insights you feed ChatGPT, the more its output will feel compelling. So don’t hesitate to add as many first-hand and experience-backed ideas as possible. You can collect them by : 

  • Interviewing subject-matter experts and leaders of your company to record their knowledge of the topic.
  • Conducting a study or inferring interesting facts from existing data.
  • Looking for professional or academic resources to back your content.
  • Relying on your own experience on the subject if you have some.

2. Build a strong and comprehensive outline

Now is the time to sketch out the first outline of your content. From the precious knowledge you have collected, you can infer a common theme or idea that is expressed by every source.

You should rely on this point of view (POV) to set the direction in your introduction and to structure the arguments in your content.

You should also consider the expectations of your audience. You can check the related questions linked to your subjects on Google. For every major question asked by the audience, you should include a related point in your outline.

You can use ChatGPT to speed up the process, but at this point, it won’t change much to let ChatGPT write the outline. 

3. Detail your main ideas in each content section

ChatGPT needs food for thoughts to proceed. That’s why, for every section of your content outline, you want to detail the main ideas and arguments.

You can rely on your SME interview transcript or sourced documents to source your ideas. Don’t try to craft nice phrases, just let your ideas flow naturally. This rough draft will be perfected by ChatGPT later.

The most important thing is to include all your ideas in the right order and with the right arguments and logical conclusions. 

4. Leverage ChatGPT to write faster 

That’s when it gets interesting. Now that you have the main structure and ideas put on paper, you just have to get the AI running. ChatGPT will rely on your genuine insights, so there’s much less chance it comes up with bland and generic paragraphs. You just have to ask it to turn each of your drafted ideas into words that will engage the reader. 

You can use this prompt: “as a professional blog writer specializing in *your topic*, complete this article outline based on your own knowledge and the ideas that are included in each section: *your outline*”.

It’s not the most sophisticated prompt, but it will help you get some convincing results. 

5. Proofread and Edit 

With the fresh output from ChatGPT, you want to check for any inconsistency and make the last edits. As I said above, ChatGPT tends to repeat the same writing structure for all the sections of your content.

You want to add more variety to the writing style, for example by adding bullet points here and there or changing the length of your paragraphs.

You also want to check for any misunderstandings and inaccuracies provided by ChatGPT. You want to be sure ChatGPT’s output perfectly reflects the ideas that you have previously outlined. 

Then, that’s it, you got a high-quality piece of content expressing a strong POV on your subject and made in a record time with ChatGPT! 

Jean-marc is a confirmed AI content process expert. Through his methods, he has improved the quality of its clients' LLM content output.

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