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Prompt Crafting 101: Supercharge Your AI Generated Content

Prompt Crafting 101: Supercharge Your AI Generated Content

An image of an open blank journal on a desk with a computer, cell phone, pencil, glasses, and plant
Credit: Jeshoots
AI has proven to generate content quickly, but sometimes it misses the mark. Prompt crafting will drastically improve your results and save you time.
AI has proven to generate content quickly, but sometimes it misses the mark. Prompt crafting will drastically improve your results and save you time.

Have you ever watched AI struggle with a request? Maybe the response was too short, too flowery, or just flat-out wrong.

You’re not alone. While generative AI can do a lot with a little, it often requires extra help to really nail those specific requirements.

The secret to unlocking superior performance from AI tools is how we provide that help. That’s where prompt crafting comes in.

What is Prompt Crafting?

Prompt crafting (or ‘Prompt Engineering’) is the strategic arrangement of instructions to better guide AI language models.

This technique is a blueprint for generating relevant content that aligns with your creative vision. You can use it to develop a specific voice, style, and composition that best suits you and your audience.

Without prompt crafting, generated content risks being generic, unfocused, and lacking an emotional connection with the reader.

Beyond standard blog posts and articles, many additional types of content can benefit from AI prompt crafting, including:

  • Social Media Updates
  • Email Templates
  • Marketing Copy
  • Customer Service Scripts
  • Educational Materials
  • Technical Documentation
  • Creative Stories
  • Product Descriptions
  • Podcast Outlines
  • Interview Questions
  • Press Releases
  • Health and Wellness Guides
  • Recipes

Ready to get started improving your content? Let’s take a look at the process of prompt crafting.


The Prompt Crafting Process

The prompt crafting process can vary depending on your content requirements but typically involves four stages:

  1. Pre-planning: Outlines and defines the essential requirements of the target content
  2. Prompt Structuring: Transforms requirements into a structured format
  3. Testing and Refinement: Tests and measures prompt effectiveness in iterations
  4. Deployment and Analysis: Places content into a production environment for performance analysis

Each step serves a different purpose and can be as concise or detailed as your requirements allow. Let’s begin with the first phase, pre-planning.

1. Pre-planning

image of light bulb on chalkboard with empty idea circles branching out from it

Pre-planning sets the stage for your AI language model. It can be comparable to brainstorming or outlining. By deciding what the target content is and is not before even writing the prompt, you reduce resource waste and eliminate guesswork. This ensures the content aligns with your business objectives and resonates with your target demographic.

Steps to Pre-planning

Pre-planning can vary depending on the type of content you’re writing. You can tailor this process to fit your requirements.

In our example, we’re pre-planning for a blog post, which involves five key steps:

  1. Defining Content Goals
  2. Identifying the Target Audience
  3. Understanding their Pain Points
  4. Outlining Solutions to Those Pain Points
  5. Keyword Research (For help, see our Comprehensive Guide to SEO)

Example

Let’s say you’re generating blog posts for your yoga website. Without pre-planning, you might prompt, “Write a blog post on how to improve yoga techniques.”

As a result, the response might look like:

Improving your yoga practice is a journey of continuous learning and personal growth. Here’s a curated guide to elevate your practice and enrich your experience on the mat.

1. Establish a Strong Foundation Start with understanding the basics of each pose. Focus on your foundation – the parts of your body that are in contact with the ground. A solid base will improve your balance and stability.

2. Consistent Practice Yoga is about the harmony of consistent practice. Try to do yoga daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Consistency is key to improvement.

By integrating these tips into your routine, you’ll notice gradual improvements not only in your physical practice but also in your mental and spiritual wellbeing.

The result has left much to be desired, as it’s more of a short list than an actual blog post.

Let’s fix that. We’ll start pre-planning by filling out each section with as many details as we need.

1. Defining Content Goals

  • Skill Development: Empower readers with techniques and knowledge to enhance their yoga skills, focusing on precision, alignment, and breath control.
  • Educational and Insightful: Provide comprehensive information about the technical aspects of yoga, promoting a deeper understanding of various poses and practices.
  • Personal Empowerment: Encourage readers to take charge of their yoga journey by offering tools and tips for self-assessment and improvement.
  • Motivation and Engagement: Inspire readers to persistently pursue their yoga practice, even when facing challenges or plateaus.

2. Identifying the Target Audience

  • Majority Women aged 25-55
  • Yoga enthusiasts of all skill levels
  • Health-conscious

3. Understanding their Pain Points

  • Plateauing Skills
  • Lack of Personalized Guidance
  • Injury or Discomfort
  • Limited Flexibility or Strength
  • Difficulty in Understanding Complex Poses

4. Outlining Solutions to Those Pain Points

  • Techniques to Overcome Plateaus: Offering strategies and practices to help readers break through plateaus in their yoga journey.
  • Personalized Practice Tips: Sharing advice on how to tailor yoga practices to individual needs and abilities.
  • Injury Prevention and Management: Educating on safe practices to avoid injuries and how to cope with discomfort during yoga.
  • Flexibility and Strength Building Exercises: Introducing exercises and routines specifically aimed at increasing flexibility and building the strength required for yoga.
  • Step-by-Step Pose Guides: Breaking down complex poses into manageable steps with detailed instructions and visuals.

5. Keyword Research List

  • “Yoga for beginners”
  • “Overcoming yoga plateaus”
  • “Personalized yoga practice”
  • “Yoga injury prevention”
  • “Increasing yoga flexibility”

Now that we have defined our pre-planning outline, we can move on to the next step, where we will assemble our prompt.

2. Prompt Structuring

Prompt structuring is precisely what it sounds like. This is where we assemble the prompt that we’ll enter into our AI companion. A well-structured prompt usually consists of five key areas:

1. Contextual Anchor: Set the stage by providing essential background information.

2. Explicit Requirements: Immediately following the contextual anchor, provide any specific requirements for your article. Insert specific instructions like response structure (“write an outline”), response sequence (“respond only with one section at a time”), sequence conditions (“ask me if it needs to be refined before going to the next section”), pain points, and solutions.

3. Constraints: Describe details like word count, formatting, and other limitations. Are you looking for a listicle in under 400 words? Or do you want an entire book chapter about physics that can be understood by 7-year-olds?

4. Tone Indicator: This determines the author’s voice. Should the output be professional, conversational, or persuasive?

5. Closing Directive: A brief final instruction can steer the model away from unwanted behaviors.

Note: At the time of this writing, ChatGPT 4 can output 4096 characters, which means it will significantly compress the content of your post to allow all of the content to fit. To work around this limitation, we’ll use a multi-response approach.

First, we’ll ask ChatGPT to generate an outline of our content based on the information provided and then ask to iteratively progress through each section, checking for refinements before proceeding. This will prevent the final post from being trimmed down too short.

Example

  1. Contextual Anchor: You are a seasoned yoga veteran who has taught thousands of classes across the world. I need you to write a beginner-friendly blog post for yoga enthusiasts with a demographic of health-conscious women ages 25-55 seeking to improve their techniques. The content goals are to provide skill development, personal empowerment, motivation, and engagement and to be educational and insightful.
  2. Explicit Requirements: You are to respond with an outline of the post, asking if it needs to be refined or if we can continue. After, you will write this post in one section per response. You will begin with one response containing the introduction, asking me if it needs to be refined, or if we can proceed to the next section. You will continue this process until the conclusion is complete. Please address the following paint points: Plateauing Skills, Lack of Personalized Guidance, Injury or Discomfort, Limited Flexibility or Strength, and Difficulty in Understanding Complex Poses. Please address solutions to the pain points: Techniques to Overcome Plateaus, Personalized Practice Tips, Injury Prevention and Management, Flexibility, and Strength Building Exercises, and Step-by-Step Pose Guides.
  3. Constraints: The post needs to contain an introduction, body, and conclusion. The post must be optimized for SEO with the keywords: “Yoga for beginners,” “Overcoming yoga plateaus,” “Personalized yoga practice,” “Yoga injury prevention,” and “Increasing yoga flexibility,” and contains at least two references to external sites.
  4. Tone Indicator: You are professional, friendly, and peaceful in your guidance.
  5. Closing Directive: Please avoid overly cliche or abstract language. Stay down to earth.

The Finished Prompt

“You are a seasoned yoga veteran who has taught thousands of classes across the world. I need you to write a beginner-friendly blog post for yoga enthusiasts with a demographic of health-conscious women ages 25-55 seeking to improve their techniques. The content goals are to provide skill development, personal empowerment, motivation, and engagement, and to be educational and insightful. You are to respond with an outline of the post, asking if it needs to be refined or if we can continue. After, you will write this post in one section per response. You will begin with one response containing the introduction, asking me if it needs to be refined, or if we can proceed to the next section. You will continue this process until the conclusion is complete. Please address the following paint points: Plateauing Skills, Lack of Personalized Guidance, Injury or Discomfort, Limited Flexibility or Strength, and Difficulty in Understanding Complex Poses. Please address solutions to the pain points: Techniques to Overcome Plateaus, Personalized Practice Tips, Injury Prevention and Management, Flexibility, and Strength Building Exercises, and Step-by-Step Pose Guides. The post needs to contain an introduction, body, and conclusion. The post must be optimized for SEO with the keywords: “Yoga for beginners,” “Overcoming yoga plateaus,” “Personalized yoga practice,” “Yoga injury prevention,” and “Increasing yoga flexibility,” and contains at least two references to external sites. You are professional, friendly, and peaceful in your guidance. Please avoid overly cliche or abstract language. Stay down to earth.”

As we can see, the post is more thorough and checks off each of the elements we defined in pre-planning. The AI model will now provide an outline, and begin to iterate through each section of the post, all the way through the conclusion.

3. Testing and Refinement

Image of two people's hands pointing at and using a laptop

Testing and refinement is where you put your crafted prompt to the test, preferably in a setting that replicates its intended use. This could be a preliminary blog post draft, a social media snippet, or a sample customer query.

Here, the emphasis is on continuous improvement. Deploy your prompt in a controlled environment to test its effectiveness. Refine the phrasing, context, or keywords based on the results. The aim is to reach a version of the prompt that consistently delivers the desired outcome.

Advantages of Testing in Prompt Crafting

Investing time in testing and refinement sets you apart regarding content quality and precision. Not only does it increase the potency of your prompts, but it also contributes to the long-term success of your content strategy.

How to Go About It

Moving to practical application, here are the steps of the testing process:

  1. Initial Review
  2. Testing
  3. Analysis
  4. Refinement

Initial Review

This stage involves presenting your initial prompt to ChatGPT and observing the kind of output it generates. It’s about gauging where you stand with the AI’s understanding of your request and identifying the immediate areas for improvement.

Testing

Deploy the prompt in scenarios that closely simulate its intended environment. In this phase, you engage in an iterative process. Each test is followed by an analysis of the results, allowing you to refine the prompt progressively for better alignment with your objectives.

Analysis

After testing, analyze the outputs in depth. Evaluate the AI’s responses against your goals, looking for patterns or inconsistencies that could inform further refinements. This is a critical step for understanding the AI’s interpretation and guiding your following actions.

Refinement

Based on your analytical findings, make targeted modifications to the prompt. This step focuses on enhancing specificity and clarity to shape the AI’s responses more effectively, ensuring they meet your strategic content requirements.

Example

Let’s continue with our yoga example. Suppose our prompt yields strong responses, but you notice that with each iteration, the tone becomes less professional and more informal. This can happen for several reasons, often due to the model “forgetting” or “hallucinating” instructions.

During testing, you can modify the prompt in the explicit instructions section to say, “Remember, your tone is to remain professional and friendly throughout each response for the duration of this process. Do not fall into an informal voice through any iteration.”

Because we’ve integrated a refinement step during the generation of each section, these instructions can also be applied in the middle of that generation process. However, we suggest that behavior issues must be addressed at the prompt level during initiation to ensure the AI model stays aware of the required constraints through all of the steps of content generation.

4. Deployment and Analysis

Once we have perfected our prompts, it’s time for full-scale deployment. You can now generate, review, and publish your final content. To ensure ongoing effectiveness, we’ll want to identify key performance indicators to monitor our content’s performance over an extended period.

Below is a list of common KPIs, which can be measured and tracked by the popular web analysis tool Google Analytics. Let’s explore each metric and how it can reflect your content’s performance.

Common KPIs for Web Content

  • Engagement rates: Besides Google Analytics, tools like BuzzSumo can provide insights into how your content is being shared and discussed across various social networks.

  • Click-through rates: This metric tracks how many visitors clicked on a specific link or call-to-action in your blog post. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp also offer detailed CTR analytics for links in your emails.

  • Conversion rates: To measure conversion rates, mainly if your blog is geared towards e-commerce or lead generation, other tools like HubSpot or specialized conversion tracking software like Unbounce can be invaluable.

  • Bounce rates: This is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. It’s crucial for understanding user engagement and the effectiveness of your content.

  • Time on page: Exactly like it sounds, it measures how long visitors stay on a page. This can be particularly useful in assessing the depth of engagement with your content and identifying which parts of your site are most captivating to your audience.

  • Unique visitors: This count provides a clear picture of how many individual users engage with your content over a given period. This is vital for understanding the reach of your blog.

  • SEO Ranking: For SEO ranking, tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz are highly effective. They help you track your blog post’s position in search engine results for specific keywords, providing insights into your SEO strategy’s effectiveness and areas for improvement.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement is where feedback is applied to restart the process and improve the product further. These concepts apply in this stage as well.

At the end of the deployment and analysis, you can draw insights from your content’s performance, learn what is and is not working, and update your prompt and the accompanying content accordingly.

Final Note on Prompt Crafting

Today, we’ve covered the basics of planning, building, testing, and deploying our AI prompts to generate better content for our applications and business operations. By following this prompt crafting process, you’ll likely see an immediate improvement in your content generation. And with thorough practice, you can improve your content even more.


Remember, the content generated by your AI tool is only as good as the prompt it is given. Stay focused on improving it, and you’ll find exceptional results waiting for you on the other side. ⚡️

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