DailyWritingTips

Section Nine: ChatGPT

“Using ChatGPT for freelance writing? Isn’t that cheating?” The short answer is yes, using raw AI-generated content to publish online is kind of cheating, but not the kind that gets you ahead.

ChatGPT uses existing content on the web and other sources that it’s been trained on to generate just about whatever you want. But if you’re giving it a prompt like, “Please write a five-hundred-word article about how to train a puppy,” and ten other people give it a similar prompt, ChatGPT will spit out almost identical articles, to an extent.

Unfortunately, it reuses a lot of the same expressions and explanations and even rips full excerpts of existing content from around the web. You can NOT use it to “do the work for you,” but you CAN use it as a tool!

Remember that! ChatGPT is meant to be a TOOL, not a REPLACEMENT for writers. The general public is looking for real content on the internet that’s backed by personal opinions, experiences, and knowledge. This is just another reason why we urge writers to find a niche to become experts in. 

AI is everywhere now. Grammarly Premium? Powered by AI. ProWritingAid? Pretty much all AI.

So, what is the right way to use ChatGPT as a freelance writer?

Creative and Ethical Applications

  • Creating Briefs: If a client expects you to create your own briefs based on the topics they provide, ChatGPT can help you do that.
  • Understanding Detailed Briefs: If you’ve been given a detailed and complicated brief, ask ChatGPT to read it, break it down, and explain it to you.
  • Disseminating Confusing Information: If you’re writing an article and want to explain the science or tech of something, but you don’t understand it well enough to explain in your own words, ask ChatGPT to explain how it works to a five-year-old so that you can communicate it in your article in a way you understand.
  • To Help with Character Development: For fiction writers, ChatGPT can help develop character backstories or dialogue. You can also use it to help build a list of characteristics based on the setting and the characters’ life experiences.
  • Ironing Out Logistics: In fiction writing, use it to help you figure out the logistics and science of certain sci-fi settings like living on a tidally-locked planet or one that’s half the size of Earth.
  • Language Learning Materials: Teachers or writers creating any kind of teaching content can create exercises, examples, or explanations for language teaching or learning.
  • Email and Communication Templates: Writers of all kinds can use it to draft professional or creative communication templates that can be personalized for specific needs.
  • Content Ideas: If you’re creating your own content for your website, ChatGPT can create an endless list of topics, ideas, and outlines for you.
  • A Second Set of Eyes: Get it to read your drafts and provide a detailed breakdown of its quality. It can check keyword usage, sentence structure, tone, facts, mathematics, etc.  

Pros

Cons

  • Speeds up the creative process
  • Offers inspiration
  • Versatile
  • Acts like a writing and editing partner
  • Not always factual
  • Lacks a personal touch

Cost of ChatGPT

It’s actually free to use with the older, limited 3.5 version. However, there are subscription tiers to choose from if you want a more robust model like ChatGPT 4. These will run less than $20 USD a month.