I’m Using ChatGPT as a Freelance Writer… 4 Ways It Helps Me

As a freelance writer, my days used to be spent agonizing over finding the perfect word, or struggling to come up with a creative headline.

But now, with the help of artificial intelligence, I’ve found a new secret weapon to help me produce high-quality content at lightning speed.

From helping me understand topics to generating content in my voice, AI has become an indispensable tool in my arsenal.

In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of using AI as a freelance writer, and how it has helped me to take my writing to the next level.

What is ChatGPT and How Does It Work?

I’ll let ChatGPT answer that question:

ChatGPT is a computer program that is designed to understand and use human language.

ChatGPT works by using a type of artificial intelligence called “deep learning.” It was trained on a huge amount of text from the internet, books, and other sources so that it can understand how humans use language. This means that it can read what we write and understand what we mean, and then it can generate its own writing that sounds just like it was written by a human.

So, when you use ChatGPT as a writer, you can ask it questions, give it prompts, or even just tell it what you want it to write about, and it will generate text that you can use as a starting point for your own writing. It’s like having a really smart writing assistant who can help you come up with ideas and even write some of the words for you!

ChatGPT, writing about itself

I know there’s a lot of hype around ChatGPT, and also a lot of fear.

I think most of the fear is unwarranted, because at its core, ChatGPT is just a really smart mathlete. It doesn’t understand language in terms of meaning and emotion, but rather has analyzed so much data it can mathematically predict what words would make the most sense when put together. It’s a really REALLY smart text generator, like those silly rapper name generators we used to play with on Facebook, but on steroids.

If we’re talking about AI technology as a whole, yes, we can think of some scary scenarios. But ChatGPT itself is not concerning. It’s just a really helpful tool that can save us tons of time doing certain types of tasks, like researching, generating ideas, or writing.

I myself have been writing about AI for quite a while for a client of mine, and have both studied and tested a ton of AI apps. And more recently, I’ve been experimenting with ChatGPT in my own work as a writer.

Here’s what I’ve found helpful for my own freelance writing business.

To use ChatGPT, head over to the ChatGPT website and create a free account. They do have paid plans, but I don’t recommend paying for it unless you really want the few extra features that brings you. (Try it out first.)

How I Use ChatGPT As a Freelance Writer

Topic Research

When I’m writing about a new topic for clients, I like to use ChatGPT to get a quick overview of the topic.

This doesn’t work for everything, and if you should know anything about ChatGPT, you should know that it’s often confidently inaccurate about people, places, and facts. Fact-check everything.

That said, I like to ask things like:

  • Explain ___ to me like I’m 12.
  • What’s the difference between ___ and ___?
  • What are the top reasons why people choose ___?
  • What are some common objections to ___?
  • What are some questions people ask about ___?
  • Summarize this article and give me the main points. (Then paste a URL.)

And so on. This gives me a good starting point and some information to work with. This is way faster than Googling and searching through articles to find the information I want.

Training It On A Specific Writing Style

Another really helpful thing ChatGPT can do is mimic your unique writing style (or a client’s).

Now, you’ve got to be careful with this, because ChatGPT is public and anything you enter into the chat can be used for research and other purposes. (That’s clearly stated when you log in for the first time.)

So what I do is take some public writing from my client and paste it to ChatGPT with this prompt:

  • Analyze the following text for style and tone of voice. Apply that exact style and tone of voice to all of your future responses. (Paste the content you want to emulate here.)

After that, anything you ask ChatGPT to write for you will be written in a similar tone to your client. (See the next section for how to do that.)

(ChatGPT will remember this tone for the rest of the conversation, so I like to start a new chat every time I want to generate a new voice. The website will save your past chats so you can always go back to them later.)

Generating Sample Content

I LOVE using ChatGPT to generate sample content for inspiration.

You can ask it things like:

  • Generate 10 eye-catching email subject lines about ___
  • Write an engaging blog post intro to a blog post called ___
  • Write the first paragraph of that blog post about ___. I want to add ___ and include the fact that ___… (Basically give it the information you want for that paragraph.)
  • Write 5 headline ideas for a blog post about ___
  • Write a Facebook ad promoting ___ with the following details and CTA…

This will give you some kind of a starting point for your content, but it’s NOT to be used as-is. Your clients can get flagged for AI-generated content, plus AI-written content is just not that great on its own.

I like to use this for inspiration, including the way to structure the argument and ideas of words and phrases to include. But I would never use the actual text in a piece of content for a client.

Writing Fast Rough Drafts

For my own writing, my goal is always to write things faster, since I have so much I want to write about and such little time. For these projects, I’m more likely to use AI to write the entire draft of a blog post so I can edit and finalize it faster.

There’s something about having a piece of work written already that makes it feel so much easier and faster to edit. Whether I write the first draft or the bot does, I will still go through and re-write everything in my voice (and find things to improve).

So I find using ChatGPT to generate a boring rough draft is much more fun, and I can focus on polishing it and re-writing it into my own words.

The key to success in writing usable rough drafts with ChatGPT is to do your own thinking beforehand and create a solid outline for the post first. Don’t let ChatGPT write a whole article for you without giving it the argument and points you want to make. That will create a bland article that says exactly what everyone else says (that’s what ChatGPT is trained to do).

Give ChatGPT unique ideas, angles, and pieces of information, and then let it flesh that out into a piece of content for you to edit.

Would You Try ChatGPT For Your Own Writing?

I used to think ChatGPT was confusing and not for me, but a couple of thought leaders in marketing changed my mind.

One said that using AI is on a spectrum. The people who don’t use it at all will lose out, and the people who automate everything with AI without any personalization are just lazy. But the people who are in the middle, using it wisely to automate some things, but leaving some things to human intellect and skill, are the ones who will win out in the end. (That encouraged me to start trying it out.)

The other said to think of ChatGPT as your junior marketing or writing assistant. You have to work with it, feed it information little by little, and effectively train it to understand what you need. Once I understood that picture, I was able to figure out how to use ChatGPT more effectively.

I encourage you to try ChatGPT out for your own personal or business use. You’ll be surprised at how many things you can accomplish with it!

What’s been your experience with AI? What do you think about it? Have you tried writing or researching with it, and if so, how did it go?

Before you go, check out this post too: 9 Ways Moms Can Use ChatGPT to Make Life Easier

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