Master AI writing prompts: 2024's ultimate guide

Cherry Yadvendu
October 23, 2023
10 mins
Master AI writing prompts: 2024's ultimate guide

Ever sat down and just got lost in a Coca-Cola ad? It's more than just the bubbles and the catchy jingle. There's a new kind of magic in town, and it's called AI. This isn't just tech talk; it's about how stories are being told today. Whether it's that song you can't stop humming or the book you can't put down, AI is playing a big part. In today's world, learning to use AI isn't just about having an edge—it's a necessity. The key to using AI in all these scenarios? Clear instructions or prompts, as we like to call them.


Think of AI as the world's best chef. Even the best need a clear recipe, right? Feeding AI unclear instructions might get you a dish you didn't order. With the right 'recipe,' AI can whip up masterpieces as good as any human.


So, mastering the art of guiding AI becomes crucial. As we dive deep into AI writing prompts, remember: clarity is king.


With emphasis on clear instruction, the obvious question is: what exactly are AI writing prompts? How do we spot a good prompt from a bad one? Join us as we explore these discussions to set the foundation for understanding AI's potential to its fullest.

What are AI writing prompts?

AI writing prompts are the instructions we give for generating specific text outputs. Think of them as the "questions" or the "tasks" we assign to AI.


The prompts can range from easy to hard. For example, they can be as simple as asking the AI about a summer day. On the other hand, they can also be challenging, such as writing a technical white paper on quantum physics.


The beauty of these prompts is that they guide AI models, like ChatGPT, to produce content that fits our needs. They can vary from creative stories to business reports.


The goal of these prompts isn't just to elicit any response but to get the right response. They help AI understand what we want and create content to match our needs. It's similar to giving a brief for an essay. The clearer the instructions, the more accurate the piece will be.

Characteristics of effective prompts

Understanding what makes a prompt effective is crucial for using AI's full potential. Here's what you should aim for:

Specificity: A well-crafted prompt clearly outlines its intent, helping the AI to grasp the central theme.

  • Vague: "Tell me about Mars."
  • Specific: "Describe the key characteristics of the planet Mars."

Brevity: While it's essential to be clear, it's equally vital to be concise to avoid confusion.

  • Long-winded: "Given that there are so many concerns regarding the environmental implications of plastic, can you tell me about the main problems caused by plastic waste in the oceans?"
  • Brief: "List the main environmental impacts of plastic waste in oceans."

Open-endedness: A more open prompt can give richer content if you're seeking elaborate or creative answers.

  • Closed: "Is global warming a major issue?"
  • Open-ended: "Discuss the implications and challenges of global warming."

Neutral tone: Ensuring your prompt is unbiased will lead to more objective responses.

  • Biased: "Why are electric cars better than traditional ones?"
  • Neutral: "Compare electric cars to traditional ones regarding environmental impact."

Relevance: Ensure the prompt aligns with the target audience or the information needed.

  • Irrelevant (to a teenager): "Discuss the intricacies of corporate tax policies in the 1980s."
  • Relevant (to a teenager): "Explain the environmental benefits of using metal straws instead of plastic ones."

Clear language: Steering clear of technical jargon or complex terms ensures the AI understands better.

  • Jargoned: "Expatiate on the anthropogenic factors exacerbating climatic vicissitudes."
  • Clear: "Discuss the human activities contributing to climate change."

The ultimate goal is to make sure what we want and what AI gives us are on the same page. By keeping these characteristics in mind, you can craft prompts that tap into the best of AI-driven content creation.

What is the difference between good and bad prompts?

A good prompt and a bad one can dramatically change the outcomes when working with AI. A well-structured prompt often leads to better, more accurate results. In contrast, an unclear or biased prompt can lead to off-target or misleading responses. Let's look into the nuances with detailed examples and explanations. For this comparison, we'll be using ChatGPT with GPT-4 as the model.

Example 1: Historical event context

Comparison between a bad prompt and a good one for giving historical context to the prompt


What makes the improved prompt effective is its specificity about the event. It doesn't just ask for facts; it seeks an analysis of the diplomatic tensions leading up to the battle

Example 2: Tailored book recommendations

Comparison between a bad prompt and a good one for getting tailored book recommendations


The adjusted prompt highlights today's authors with a technology focus, ensuring a better-curated list of recommendations.


Example 3: Effective ad copy

Comparison between a bad prompt and a good one for crafting effective ad copies


This prompt provides a brand name, values, target audience, and product details. With these specifics, AI crafts a message capturing the brand's essence and its appeal to its target demographic.

Example 4: E-commerce retention strategy

Comparison between a bad prompt and a good one for creating a retention strategy


This detailed prompt helps AI understand brand identity, goals, and desired engagement. It helps in generating an output, which is a complete strategy.


For AI to work well, especially in things like business marketing, you need to give it clear prompts. Good prompts don't just ask; they guide the AI. Making these prompts may take a bit more time, but the result is smart and useful content that's worth the effort.


Top AI writing prompts  for marketing, business and students

Marketing

Launch of a new product

Launching something new? Get the word out and make it exciting. Show people why they need it and what makes it special.

Remember, first impressions count. A strong start can lead to lasting product adoption.

"Write a press release introducing '[ProductName]', a [ProductType] designed for [Target Audience]. Ensure it emphasizes its [KeyFeatures] and [USP]."


Boosting social media engagement

Boosting social media activity is a key goal for many. To improve your results, share content that resonates with your viewers.

Interact with your followers by engaging in conversations and responding to their comments. Additionally, make sure to post your content during the times when most people are online. Using this prompt can enhance the content of your posts.

"Suggest engaging weekly content themes for '[BrandName]', a [PlatformName] page dedicated to [Niche] for [Demographic]. List at least five themes with brief descriptions."



Customer feedback for service improvement

Customer feedback is like gold for any business. By listening to what customers say, companies can spot problems and fix them. It's simple: when customers share, we improve and do better.

"Design a brief survey for customers of '[BusinessName]', a [BusinessType], to gauge their [SpecificExperience] and areas of improvement. Provide at least five questions."



Increasing newsletter sign-ups

Want more people to sign up for your newsletter? Make the sign-up process easy and quick. Offer them something valuable in return, like a special guide or discount.

Remember, people love getting extra value!

"Craft an enticing call-to-action for a website's homepage encouraging visitors to sign up for '[NewsletterName]', a [Frequency] [ContentTheme] newsletter. Emphasize the [KeyBenefit]."



Promoting a loyalty program

Loyalty programs are great for keeping customers coming back. To spread the word, highlight the perks and rewards.

When people see benefits, they're more likely to join in and stay loyal.

"Create a promotional tagline for '[ProgramName]', a new loyalty rewards program for '[BusinessName]', aiming to [PrimaryObjective]."


Business

Pitching a new solution to investors

Got a new idea for investors? Be clear and confident.

Show them why it's a winner. When they see potential and passion, they're more likely to support it. Ensure you highlight all the key features.

"Summarize '[ProductName]', a platform designed to [PrimaryPurpose] with features such as [KeyFeature1] and [KeyFeature2]. Highlight its benefits and potential impact."


Hiring a new team member

Hiring someone new? Look for a good fit, not just skills.

The job description is one of the hardest things to get right. The right person should match the company's values and be a team player. A good hire boosts the whole team.

"Draft a job description for a [JobRole] at '[CompanyName]', focusing on [PrimaryResponsibility1], [PrimaryResponsibility2], and [KeySkill/Quality]. Emphasize the [CompanyCulture/USP]."


Communicating a new company policy

When there's a new company rule, it's important to be clear.

Break it down so everyone gets it. Answer questions and make sure everyone's on the same page. Clear communication prevents confusion.

"Write an internal memo informing employees about '[PolicyName]', a new policy at '[CompanyName]' to [PrimaryObjective]. Provide actionable steps and emphasize the [CompanyVision/Goal]."


Planning a business expansion

Thinking about expanding the business? Start with a clear plan. You should have an understanding of the costs, the market, and your direction.

A solid roadmap makes expanding smoother.

"Outline a proposal for expanding '[BusinessName],' a [BusinessType], into [NumberOfLocations] new [GeographicalPreference] over the next [Timeframe]. Focus on brand consistency and [SecondaryObjective]."


Revamping company culture

Want a better company culture? Listen to employees. Small changes can make a big difference. A happy team is more productive and stays longer.

"Suggest actionable steps to foster a [DesiredCultureAttribute] culture at '[CompanyName]'. Ensure a mix of short-term initiatives and long-term strategies. List at least five actions."


Students

Research paper assistance

Navigating a research paper? Assistance can be a game-changer, especially for students or professionals feeling overwhelmed.

With the right guidance, both novices and experienced researchers can elevate their work, ensuring it stands out.

"Provide a concise overview of the '[Historical/ScientificEvent]', emphasizing its causes, major events, and long-term impacts. Ensure clarity and depth for a [EducationalLevel] level paper."


Essay writing

Essays are the voice of your thoughts. Whether you're a student aiming for top grades or a writer looking to influence, clarity is key.

Crafting a compelling essay with a clear point ensures your voice resonates with readers.

"Craft an engaging introductory paragraph for an essay on '[EssayTopic]'. Ensure it provides context, captures attention, and sets the tone for the subsequent content."


Project report

Every project tells a story, and that story deserves a standout report.

Ideal for team leaders or project managers, a well-structured report showcases efforts, challenges, and achievements, giving stakeholders a complete picture.

"Outline the key sections and headers for a project report on '[ProjectTopic]'. List at least five main sections, briefly describing the content to be included in each."


Book review

Lost in the pages of a new book? Sharing your insights can be enlightening for fellow book enthusiasts and casual readers alike.

A detailed review helps people decide if the story is right for them by explaining its subtle details.

"Write a brief review of the book '[BookName]' by [AuthorName]. Focus on its themes, characters, and overall impact. Provide a rating out of five."


Presentation preparation

Presentations are more than just slides; they're about connecting with your audience.

Whether you're an entrepreneur pitching an idea or a student presenting a project, your delivery matters. A well-prepared presentation captures attention and drives your message home.

"Design a structure for a 10-slide presentation on '[PresentationTopic]'. List the slide titles in order, briefly describing the content and visuals for each."


Where can you use these writing prompts?

There's a growing number of platforms utilizing writing prompts. ChatGPT stands out, generating content based on given prompts. Google Bard is another noteworthy platform, crafting text based on user inputs. However, that's just scratching the surface.

Apart from these big names, there are other tools for different needs. Some help with ads, some with school papers, and some with making stories. Tools like Cohesive AI offer templates for each niche, making it a preferred platform for many users.

A lot of businesses are using AI tools to better talk to customers and their teams. As we get better AI, more companies will use them. In the future, we'll likely witness the increased use of AI in writing.

How do you build a good prompt?

The old principle of "garbage in, garbage out" (GIGO) rings more accurate than ever regarding prompt building. GIGO means you'll get better output if you give AI clear and good input.

Creating a good prompt for AI involves more than just asking a question or giving a command. You need to fine-tune your request to ensure the AI gives a precise, relevant answer.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Be specific: Aim for detailed facets of a topic instead of a broad overview.

  • Initial: "Discuss sustainability."
  • Revised: "What sustainable measures are businesses taking today?"


Keep it short: Condense your prompt without losing essential information.

  • Initial: "Detail all the sustainable actions taken by businesses today."
  • Revised: "List sustainable actions by businesses."


Ask open questions: Craft questions that encourage more comprehensive answers.

  • Initial: "List sustainable actions by businesses."
  • Revised: "Explain different sustainable actions businesses are taking."


Stay neutral: Avoid biases in your question.

  • Initial: "Benefits of sustainable practices."
  • Revised: "Overview of business sustainable practices."


Give context: Provide background information when relevant.

  • Initial: "Sustainable practices businesses are adopting."
  • Revised: "Given the current global environmental issues, what sustainable practices are businesses adopting?"


Mind your language: Adjust your tone based on the audience.

  • Initial: "List sustainable measures in businesses."
  • Revised: "Describe sustainable measures adopted by businesses in a simple manner."


Provide references: Mention specific datasets or timeframes if required.

  • Initial: "Sustainable practices adopted by businesses."
  • Revised: "What sustainable practices have businesses adopted in the past decade?"


Be clear: Don't make your prompt confusing.

  • Initial: "List sustainable practices."
  • Revised: "List sustainable practices specific to businesses, not individuals."


Test and tweak: Adjust prompts based on feedback or AI responses.

  • Initial: "List top sustainable methods."
  • Revised: "Highlight the main sustainable strategies used by retail businesses."


Encourage feedback: Allow for a feedback mechanism to refine prompts further.

  • Initial: "List sustainable strategies by retail businesses."
  • Revised: "List and evaluate sustainable strategies adopted by retail businesses."


Specify the format: Clearly indicate if you have a preferred answer format.

  • Initial: "Describe sustainable practices in retail."
  • Revised: "Provide a bullet-pointed list of sustainable strategies retail businesses adopted over the past decade."

By repeating this process, you can see how each step shapes and enhances the initial prompt. This ensures that AI obtains a specific, detailed, and accurate answer by tailoring the question.


Writing effective AI prompts

Creating an effective AI prompt is more than just being precise. It's about clarity, relevance, and a bit of creativity. When we get how these prompts work, our conversation with AI gets better, making sure it really gets what we're saying.

On this path, remember: good prompts need careful thought. Tools like Cohesive AI and their ready-made templates can help. Whether it's diving deep into data or telling a great story, AI does its best when we guide it right.

So, these prompts? They're not just questions. They're the spark that makes AI shine.

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Cherry Yadvendu
October 17, 2023
10 mins

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