Unless you prompt them really well, large language models (LLMs) are not that clever. You can’t punch in a few keys and expect War and Peace to come out the other side. It doesn’t work like that. Instead, careful and clever prompting is required to guide the model to generate what you want.
And what you want is words and sentences that you would use. If you’re using ChatGPT to create articles or social media posts, make sure they read like you actually wrote them. Here are the 5 simple steps to getting ChatGPT to write like you.
Set the scene for your LLM
The first thing to do is get ChatGPT to understand your writing style. Explain what you’re going to do with the following prompt, so it’s ready to receive the examples:
“I’d like your help in creating articles for [purpose]. Your first task will be to understand my writing style based on examples that I give you. After that, we’ll create some content. To start, please say GO AHEAD and I will paste examples of my writing. Keep saying GO AHEAD and I will paste new examples. When I am done I will say FINISHED. At this stage, please do not do anything except confirm that you have saved the writing style.”
The clear instructions mean ChatGPT knows when to expect more content and stop it launching into content creation mode before you are ready.
Add your writing
When you have the go ahead from ChatGPT, copy and paste the text from one of your articles, newsletters, books or even emails into the input box. Select work that is a good representation of your style including sentence length, vocabulary, tone and format. After you’ve pasted one, hit return. ChatGPT should keep saying, “go ahead” as you add more.
I recommend at least 3 examples of your writing in the same format as you’re going to request, ideally at least 1000 words in total and ideally on different topics within your niche. Imagine you were training a copywriter or a member of the team, and you wanted to give a wide range of examples to set them up for success. After you’ve sent the last example, type, “finished,” and ChatGPT will be ready for your next prompt.
Name your style
Although you don’t have to do this, I found it helpful to name this writing style, so it can be referred back to easily. Let ChatGPT know that’s your intention with this prompt, as well as asking for a summary to make sure they grasped your style in enough detail.
“Great. Let’s call this “[your initials] writing style”. First, can you summarise [initials] writing style in a few bullet points? Focus on the sentence structure, tone and voice.”
What should follow is an assessment of your style in a good level of detail. Read over those bullet points and decide if it’s accurate. If not, tell ChatGPT you’re going to give more examples, and that it should say “go ahead” until you say, “finished.” If you’re happy with the summary, it’s onto the next part of the prompting.
Ask for what you want
Now the program knows how you write, tell it what you want it to write. Do this by giving context and clear instructions on what should be produced. Open this next prompt by saying “thanks,” (which sounds silly, but studies have shown that showing politeness returns better results over time) and then explain what you’re looking to achieve.
Change the following to suit your requirements. “Every week I send a thought-provoking article on a different topic. Each one introduces a different way of thinking about a common concept, is three paragraphs long, and ends with a question to the reader.” Perhaps you’re looking to write LinkedIn posts or tweets, a letter to shareholders or an SEO-optimized blog for your website. Go into detail about this within the prompt.
After you’ve given context, specify the ask, and reference your writing style. For example, “Can you create one of these for me in [initials] writing style. Please use the topic of: [topic you want to write about].” Within your explainer for the topic you should include all the necessary information. If you want the article to include a specific story, dates, facts, or anything else, say so. If you want your shareholders letter to share specific information, include that in the prompt. Explain what should be included in a list, and ChatGPT will turn it into prose as required.
Ask for edits
The first response might not be exactly right, but now you have a first draft. Now’s where further prompting fine tunes that draft to fit the bill. When you know what you want, use this prompt”
“Thanks. Please can you make it more [how you want it edited].” Here’s where you could ask for the text to be more light-hearted, serious, longer, shorter, or with fewer adverbs. You can have a few goes at getting this right, giving more direction each time.
Think about whether any key information is missing that you’d like included, and say so with the prompt, “Include [any additional details].” The model should have picked up your signature style from your example texts, but if you’d like a story, joke or clever pun, here’s where you ask. You could even say, “I like [this line], but not [this line], can you change the second to be more [adjective].”
Keep refining until you are happy with the results. When you want more of the same, revisit the chat and repeat the prompts. Five simple steps to train ChatGPT to write in your style, for effortless content that you’re proud to share. Bad prompting leads to bad results, exceptional prompting can make art.