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How To Write Better AI Prompts

As AI language models advance, their potential for creative outputs expands. But just like a painter needs their brush and canvas, AI needs your clear instructions to unleash its magic. This guide equips you with the knowledge to craft powerful prompts, unlocking the full potential of AI and bringing your ideas to life.

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Using AI tools to save time

There’s no denying that AI is controversial. As a blogger or small business owner, we recommend using it ethically; to help you streamline your workflow, plan faster, and cut through those little tasks that still require thought and time.
Some of the things you could ethically use generative AI tools for include:

  • Writing meta descriptions, Pinterest pin descriptions, and social media captions.
  • Drafting pitches to people for guest posts, brands, or bundle collaborations.
  • Repurposing content you’ve already written (e.g. turning an email newsletter into a blog post).
  • Making your content more accessible (e.g. automating the writing of ALT text for your images).
  • Creating a structured plan to manage your day/week, mapping out a course or content series, planning a long blog post with several different sections, or building a repurposing schedule.
  • Organizing your workload and turning it into a series of monthly and quarterly goals.

 

AI tools to explore

Although many tools have similar or crossover features, they’re only as good as the data and intelligence behind them. Additionally, your own personal preferences play a role too. It may be that you hate the style of one tool but find you get much better results from another.

For this reason, it’s beneficial to try a few different options until you find one you’re happy with. There are tons of tools out there, but here are a few to get you started:

 

How to structure a good AI prompt

01. Include the format – what do you want AI to create? An email? An Instagram caption?

02. Describe the tone/style – do you want a formal proposal? Something personal? Something polite but firm? Something apologetic or sympathetic?

03. Consider providing sources or established styles to draw from (where it’s relevant). For example, if you want AI to write an elevator pitch of your business, link to your website and tell it to use the information there as inspiration. If you’re looking to appeal to a specific audience or write for your targeted customer avatar, you could refer to a famous person, event, or something pop culture related, for example “Write an Instagram caption about X in a way that would appeal to Taylor Swift fans.”

04. Consider including the context (where you’re planning to use the end result). For example, an introduction speech for a casual women’s networking event could feel very different to a speech given at a graduation ceremony. You could also play with the boundaries here; experimenting by prompting a talk and using the results on a sales page instead could set a very different, personable feel, for example. Think of it as building a foundation for the AI’s imagination.

This can also be useful if you’re not seeing the results you want because AI is giving you something more “salesy” (or another tone that isn’t your normal style) due to overly focusing on the content type.

05. Include adjectives and other descriptors. Not only will this help you get closer to the results you want, it also reduces the chances of the results sounding generic or be easily replicated by someone entering a very similar prompt. For example, “Write a polite but firm final email response explaining I won’t be reducing my prices or offering a discount for a sponsored blog post.”

When you’re creating guides, lists or any kind of content that’s a little bit different, you may be wanting something a little more unique from your AI responses. Try including phrases such as “little known,” “off the beaten path,” “unusual,” “hidden gems,” “underrated” and so on to get something more outside the box.

06. Be inclusive – especially if you’re using AI image generators, as this gives you the opportunity to create the kinds of images that don’t exist or are heavily underrepresented online. Consider being specific about race, age, disability, gender, and all kinds of other factors.

07. State your goal/s. Similarly to including the context, this can also help AI understand what you’re trying to achieve and create a better prompt. For example, your prompt could include:
Goal: Secure a new customer by showing I’m knowledgeable, reliable and authentic in my pitch.

08. Quickly scan what you’ve put. Focus on crafting well-constructed prompts rather than throwing random words at the AI – no need for keywords, unless it’s relevant to your prompt!

09. Submit your prompt, and see what you get! It’s unlikely you’ll get the perfect response first time, so don’t be afraid to refine your prompts, try different approaches and observe the AI’s responses. Use the AI’s initial output as a springboard for refining your prompts and guiding further iterations. Don’t blanket accept the first attempt – refine, add more in, that way you’ll get something that is further away from generic writing and closer to you.
 

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Examples of AI prompts

A lot of the advice around writing AI prompts suggests making your instructions highly specific. While this can avoid confusion, it may also be overkill for what you want or counterproductive if you’re trying to save time. On the other hand, if you’re working on something big or super important

Short prompt examples:

01. Write a description for my website’s contact page telling people I’d love to hear from them if they’re looking to comment on my content, ask questions about me or my website, or collaborate or work with me, but to not contact me about link exchanges or if they’re offering SEO or web design services.

02. Write an enthusiastic but not over the top pitch to the website owner of [insert website here] to convince them I’d love to write a guest post on the best ways to use coconuts for their website. Mention my experience – five years in writing for my own website, furrypurplemonkeys.com, which has over 10000 visitors a month, and three years of freelance and contract experience working for brands such as Tiny Hats For Monkeys LLC and Suave Monkey Hospitality Co.

03. Write a 150 character long meta description, starting with a call to action, for a blog post on hidden gems in Rome.

04. Write a plan for a blog post on exploring York, designed to get people excited about visiting the city as this post will be sponsored by a local tourism centre. The attractions mentioned should be suitable for wheelchair users and explain why this is the case. (Always verify any suggested attractions or facts yourself to make sure AI isn’t making it up!).
 

Long prompt example:

Goal: Generate a script for a thrilling sci-fi movie trailer.

Details:
Title: Diaspora (meaning: the mass scattering of a population)
Genre: Sci-Fi thriller
Setting: A future Earth ravaged by climate change, forcing humanity to migrate to a distant habitable planet.
Tone: Dark, suspenseful, with a hint of hope.

Prompt:
Write a script for a 2-minute trailer for the sci-fi thriller movie “Diaspora.”

Open with a montage of desolate landscapes and news clips depicting the dire state of Earth due to climate change.

Introduce the main character, Dr. Anya Sharma, a brilliant astrophysicist leading the Exodus Project – humanity’s last hope for survival on a newly discovered planet, Kepler-186f.

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Showcase the challenges of the journey – spaceship malfunctions, dwindling resources, and rising tensions amongst the diverse group of colonists.
Include glimpses of the breathtaking alien landscape of Kepler-186f, hinting at both beauty and danger.

End with a powerful tagline that leaves the audience wanting more, something like: “They left a dying planet. But will they find a new home, or a new nightmare?”
 

And that’s a wrap!

By trying out these tips and throwing in a bit of your own creativity, you’ll master the art of crafting powerful prompts and get the most from AI. The possibilities are endless, so keep experimenting and discover the magic waiting to be unlocked.

If you’re a Lyrical Host customer, head to the Resource Library to download a list of short done-for-you AI prompts – ideal for bloggers and business owners in all niches!
 

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How to write better AI prompts

Jenni Brown
Co-founder of Lyrical Host, Jenni has been in the web hosting industry for years and specializes in social media, copywriting, search engine optimization, and email marketing. She loves cats, baking, photography, and gaming.

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