How To Use ChatGPT: Your Step-by-Step Guide [2023] | Semrush
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How to Use ChatGPT: Your Step-by-Step Guide [2023]

Margarita LoktionovaAug 29, 202317 min read

This past year has seen ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) platforms burst into the public consciousness, generating headlines around the world.

The ChatGPT platform, developed by OpenAI, is a large language model-based chatbot. Users can prompt ChatGPT to perform a variety of tasks from writing copy to running calculations and sourcing information.

So how can you use ChatGPT, and what can you accomplish with it? Explore our definitive guide for easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

What Can You Use ChatGPT For?

What Can You Use ChatGPT For?

ChatGPT can help with a lot of different tasks.

For example, it can produce large amounts of text quickly and easily, saving users much time and effort. Or it can help with analyzing information and data.

Here are some examples of popular ChatGPT use cases:

  • Sharing knowledge: ChatGPT offers accessible explanations for complex concepts, making it useful for anyone seeking new ideas and looking to learn (e.g., students). It also functions as a digital encyclopedia, providing information on historical events, scientific discoveries, and geographical details.
  • Educational assistance: The platform also offers virtual tutoring, educational support, language learning, and writing assistance. It can answer questions, provide explanations, and help with translations, sentences, vocabulary, and content marketing/essay ideas.
  • Writing content: ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for writing blogs, social media posts, ads, product descriptions, website copy, and anything in between. However, it doesn’t provide the SEO insights you need to rank in search. For those, you can use specialized AI content writing tools that combine both.
  • Proofreading and editing content: You can also use ChatGPT to optimize your text by adjusting its tone of voice, changing sentence structure, rewriting for clarity, summarizing text, and improving grammar and punctuation.
  • Market research: Open AI can help you create buyer personas, gather data on your target audience, and generate insights to enhance your overall marketing and content strategy.
  • Generate AI art: You can also use AI image generators to create unique images and video by entering text prompts. There are multiple tools available for that purpose.
  • Writing code: ChatGPT can even be useful to write simple code, create plugins, and identify website code errors.

In reality, there are many more use cases of ChatGPT you can find depending on your needs. For example, you can even ask it to suggest an optimal tone of voice for your brand.

Here’s a sample prompt you can use:

And here’s the result:

ChatGPT even provided additional details on how to maintain this tone of voice in content:

Now, let’s discover how can you access, use, and explore ChatGPT.

How To Use ChatGPT: Step by Step

How To Use ChatGPT: Step by Step

Using ChatGPT is a lot like using a search engine. But instead of having to sift through all the results yourself, AI does that for you.

On top of that, OpenAI announced that users will soon be able to access up-to-date information about any recent and current events.

So, this tool can prove extremely useful. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using ChatGPT:

Step 1: Create Your ChatGPT Account

Head to and click “Sign Up.”

From there, you’ll need to sign up with your email or your Gmail, Microsoft, or Apple account.

Next, you’ll need to share your full name, date of birth, and company name (if applicable).

Finally, you’ll input a phone number, and you’ll be sent a code to verify your phone number.

After that, you’re good to go!

Bonus step: Choose your ChatGPT plan

You can choose to continue with the free plan providing access to ChatGPT-3.5. Or, you can opt for the paid plan available for $20/month. The paid version offers:

  • General access to ChatGPT, even during peak times
  • Exclusive access to ChatGPT-4, the most advanced AI model
  • Faster response times
  • Priority access to new features and improvements

To manage your subscription, open the side bar in the chat window and head to “My Plan.”

Step 2: Write Your Prompt

This is just a fancy way of saying “type your questions” or “make your requests.”

Think about the different functions mentioned in the previous section and what sort of requests you can make.

Here’s how to write effective ChatGPT prompts:

  • Make them as specific and detailed as possible

    For example, if you’re asking ChatGPT to write an ad for you, provide context about your target audience, your product, your brand, and your tone of voice.
  • Don’t expect a perfect result from the first prompt

    Imagine you’re talking to a real person; this usually requires managing a conversation and asking follow-up questions. So, don’t be afraid of multi-step prompts.
  • Ask AI to adopt a specific identity or profession

    For example, you could tell ChatGPT about your buyer persona and ask it to write from their perspective; e.g., “From the point of view of a marketing director managing a team in a mid-size firm, describe this audience research tool.”
  • Fact-check the information and ask for proof

    There’s a good chance ChatGPT is pulling information that’s not entirely accurate (also referred to as “hallucinations”). To avoid potential issues, you can ask it to provide the source. For instance, imagine you’re requesting AI to share demographic information about your persona. Ask it to “provide the evidence that supports this statement.”

Let’s say you’re looking to create a set of LinkedIn ads for your customer research agency.

Your first prompt could look like this:

“Please act as a conversion copywriter and help us generate 3 ad variations for LinkedIn. Please use the following details:

[Info about your target audience][The product you promote and its unique value proposition][Desired tone of voice, readability, and length][Other elements you want to include, such as CTA, statistics, etc.]”

Step 3: Continue Working with Your Prompts

There are many paths you can take after getting the response to your question. You can choose to:

  • Accept the response: If the answer meets your expectations, you can simply accept it and move forward. In that case, you can copy the response by clicking the clipboard icon next to the response.
  • Ask for clarification:If something isn't clear, you can ask follow-up questions or request more detailed explanations.

    For example:
  • Refine your question: If the response isn't quite what you were looking for, you can rephrase or provide more specific details to guide the model.

    Imagine you asked AI to generate an Instagram ad for your product. If the result didn’t meet your expectations, you could ask ChatGPT to come up with a new version.

    For example, “Please shorten this ad to 2 sentences and add an enticing CTA at the end.”

    Following the same logic, there are many ways to explore the parameters of your prompts.

    Did ChatGPT write copy in a tone that’s too informal, or perhaps overly formal? You can ask for a rewrite in your desired tone.

    If you need the information translated into another language, ChatGPT can do that, too.
  • Challenge the answer: If you believe the information is incorrect or misleading, you can challenge it and ask for sources or further justification.

    E.g., “Please provide a source of this information on the buyer persona’s demographic details.”
  • Iterate: You can build upon the response by asking related questions, diving deeper into a topic, or exploring different angles.

    For example, if AI generates a list of pain points of your buyer persona, you can ask for additional details.

    E.g., “Please provide more information on [persona X] making the buying decisions. For example, who are the influencers, how long is the decision cycle, what are the most important purchasing factors, etc.”
  • Get a new response: If you’d like to get a new result using the same prompt, click the “Regenerate” button. This could be useful when making paraphrasing requests, among other things.
  • Provide feedback: ChatGPT doesn't have the capability to remember feedback for future interactions. But providing feedback can help it learn and generate better responses in the future.

    You can choose to like or dislike the response:

You can also make your feedback more constructive by writing a detailed review.

  • Use external verification: Are you unsure about the information’s quality and accuracy? It's always a good idea to cross-check with other reliable sources, especially for crucial topics (e.g., legal or healthcare).
  • Limit the response length: If you're looking for a concise answer, you can specify that in your prompt; e.g., "Can you provide a short summary of...?"
  • Ask for different formats: You can request the information in various formats, such as bullet points, a list, a one-sentence summary, etc.
  • End the conversation: If you've obtained all the information you need, you can simply end the interaction.
ChatGPT Prompts Example

ChatGPT Prompts Example

Now, let’s look at a real-life workflow example.

Imagine you want to create a set of LinkedIn ads for a customer research agency.

To make it more interesting, let’s assume we don’t have enough insights about the target audience and the value proposition.

Part One: Building a Value Proposition

We asked ChatGPT to help us learn more about our target persona and build a value proposition statement.

First, we requested more details about the audience using this prompt.

Our prompt

“Please act as a customer research expert and help us better understand the needs of our audience.

We’re offering customer research services, and our main target persona is a marketing director working in a mid-size firm in the U.S.

The goals of this persona include generating revenue and proving ROI in their company, understanding their target audience, and ensuring the firm’s marketing messaging is relevant to this audience. 

Provide a list of this persona's key needs and goals when hiring a customer research agency or using customer analysis tools.”

The result

We received a list of various needs. For example:

“Here's a list of key needs and goals for this persona when using a customer research agency or tools:

  • Deep Insights: They need in-depth insights into their target audience's behaviors, preferences, and pain points. This helps in crafting marketing strategies that resonate.
  • Actionable Recommendations: It's not enough to just provide data. They need actionable insights and clear recommendations on how to leverage that data in their marketing strategies.
  • Clear Reporting: They don't have time to sift through mountains of data. They need clear, concise, and visually appealing reports that highlight the key takeaways.
  • Integration with Other Tools: They likely use a suite of marketing tools. Any research tool or service should ideally integrate seamlessly with these, whether it's a CRM system, marketing automation tool, or analytics platform.”

To narrow it down, we asked AI to write a statement that would summarize this information.

Next, we wrote a series of prompts to build a relevant value proposition.

Our prompt

We started with the following prompt:

We then asked for several changes and clarifications. For example:

“You provided a statement summarizing our persona's needs when hiring a customer research agency above. Please rewrite this value proposition statement, taking into account those needs. Please use them as the foundation of the value proposition: instead of focusing on what the company offers, please highlight how we can solve their problems. Also, please make it shorter by highlighting the most important information.”

The result

Here’s one of the value proposition versions we received:

“We help marketing directors at mid-size firms quickly uncover deep audience insights with a blend of AI and expert research, ensuring actionable strategies, measurable ROI, and seamless integration with their tools.”

Part Two: Creating LinkedIn ads

Once we finished building the value proposition, we moved to writing our LinkedIn ads.

Our prompt

First, we asked AI to create ads considering the audience and value proposition details we collected earlier.

“Now, please act as a conversion copywriter and help us generate 3 ad variations for LinkedIn. We're looking to promote our customer research agency and showcase how our solution can help to cover our target persona's needs. At the same time, we want to highlight our unique value proposition and show what's different about our agency. The ads should have a maximum of two lines, be easy to read, and have an informed yet approachable tone of voice.”

To get better ad variations, we sent a few additional requests based on ChatGPT’s responses. For example:

“Please add the following changes:

1. Add our brand name: “DeepResearch”2. Make the tone of voice less formal and complicated. Make it more casual and conversational while also keeping the overall professional tone.3. Make sure the ad descriptions have more clarity. It should be clear to the user that they are being offered customer research services.4. Please add a call to action for each ad.”

The result

Here are some examples of the ads we created:

"DeepResearch: Where AI meets human touch.""Want deeper audience insights? Choose DeepResearch.""Unlock your audience with DeepResearch!"
"Looking for top-notch customer research? We've got the tech and the team to help you truly get your audience.""We blend advanced AI with expert researchers to deliver unparalleled customer insights. Understand your audience like never before.""Ever wondered what your customers really want? Our blend of AI and experts has the answers. Dive in with us."
"Explore Our Services""See How We Do It""Get Started Now"
Additional Information on ChatGPT

Additional Information on ChatGPT

Here’s a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to answer any remaining doubts or queries you may have.

How Do I Access ChatGPT?

You can access ChatGPT thorough your browser by typing “”.

You can also use it via:

  • A third-party app or plugin
  • A mobile app available on iOS and Android

Where Can I Use ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI. It’s designed to generate human-like text in conversations.

Users input prompts, and ChatGPT responds with coherent and contextually relevant text.

For instance, you can ask it to provide examples for an article you’re writing:

However, it is key that you always review its responses for accuracy and quality.

You can use ChatGPT directly in the web browser. You can also use it via plugins, integration services like Zapier, and other apps.

For instance, the UniJump plugin allows you to use ChatGPT via its own interface.

How Do I Get ChatGPT?

Wondering how to sign up for ChatGPT?

To get ChatGPT, head to the website and create an account. It’s free of charge and available to anyone.

You can use the ChatGPT-3.5 verion for free or purchase a paid plan to access ChatGPT-4.

You can also use ChatGPT via third-party platforms and plugins.

Note that sometimes OpenAI opens up access to ChatGPT and its updates through a waitlist and invitations.

Does ChatGPT Have an App?

If you’re researching whether you can use ChatGPT on your phone, we have great news for you.

The ChatGPT app is available on iOS and Android. Search for “ChatGPT” and download “ChatGPT—the official app by OpenAI.”

Does ChatGPT Cost Money?

Wondering how much ChatGPT costs?

ChatGPT offers a free-to-access version and a subscription plan called ChatGPT Plus.

The free version allows users to access the basic features and explore the ChatGPT-3.5 model.

ChatGPT Plus offers benefits such as faster responses and priority access to new features as well as exclusive access to ChatGPT-4. ChatGPT Plus costs $20 per month.

What Is the Difference Between ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4?

The names refer to different versions and updates of the underlying AI model.

ChatGPT-4 is the most advanced model that’s currently available. Updates like this bring improvements to performance and capabilities.

Simply put, ChatGPT-4 is smarter and provides more accurate results than ChatGPT-3.5.

Is Information Generated by AI Unique and Original?

AI-generated information is based on patterns from its training data.

While it can produce outputs that seem unique, it's not "creative" in the human sense. AI lacks emotions and consciousness, so its "originality" is more about recombining known data.

However, it can produce statistically unique combinations, especially with specific prompts.

In other words, it might not invent a new method or concept. But it can definitely generate original text for you to publish on your website without worrying about plagiarism issues.

Can You Use AI for SEO and Content Marketing?

The best way to use AI to create content is by adopting a hybrid approach.

AI will not generate real-life SEO insights that help you rank. It will not analyze real-time data about your competitors.

But it can generate original text, analyze information, and optimize your copy.

Writing tools like ContentShake help you combine and access both. It lets you create content using AI and provides SEO insights and data to ensure it ranks in search.

Are There Prompts Users Can’t Use?

ChatGPT puts limits on certain types of prompts. Users cannot engage in illegal activities or harmful behaviors, or misuse the technology. Prompts that violate these guidelines will not receive responses.

How Can Users Manage Their Data in ChatGPT?

Note that OpenAI can see and utilize your ChatGPT interactions to enhance its models. This is why sharing personal or private details with ChatGPT is discouraged.

To view all your past conversations, check the side panel on the homepage.

To turn this feature off, hover over your profile in the sidebar and click “Settings.”

From here, head to “Data controls” and click the toggle beside “Chat history & training.”

How Can Users Share ChatGPT Conversations?

You can share the entire chat with another user.

First, click the sharing icon at the top right corner of your chat.

Then, you can change the name of the chat and copy its link.

You can also manually copy and paste the text or take screenshots to share with others.

Is ChatGPT Connected to the Internet?

Until recently, ChatGPT was not connected to the internet in the sense of actively browsing or retrieving real-time data.

It couldn’t fetch new or updated data beyond its last training cut-off in September 2021.

However, OpenAI announced that the chatbot will soon be able to browse the internet and provide users with current information.

This feature is expected to be available to all users.

What Are the ChatGPT Alternatives?

There are other AI-based tools you can use besides ChatGPT. Those include other chatbots such as Microsoft Bing Chat and Google Bard AI.

Or, you can use niche AI tools created for specific industries and needs.

For example, if you’re looking to use AI for content writing, you can choose from dozens of AI writing tools.

While ChatGPT is easy to use, opting for specialized tools can offer multiple benefits. Specialized AI content tools can offer:

  • Simplified workflow: e.g., an interface adapted for content writing, an option to publish directly to your blog, a text editor, etc.
  • Real-life SEO insights: ChatGPT does not provide real-time data on target keywords, traffic volume, search intent, etc.; however, some writing tools are offering this option
  • Easy-to-use templates: this is especially important for beginner users who are not well-versed in content creation

Tools like Semrush's ContentShake AI are specifically designed for content marketing.

It generates content ideas and suggestions based on competitive analysis, writes content, and helps you optimize it for users and search engines.

Wrapping Up

Wrapping Up

ChatGPT has emerged as the most prominent generative AI tool that can mimic human abilities. Its versatility lets users explore various functionalities.

And, with ChatGPT, clever prompt engineering provides the best results.

However, it’s worth exploring AI tools that are tailor-made for various specialists. Those include tools for productivity management, content writing, design, and many others.

As ChatGPT evolves, it’s impossible to predict how different industries will be affected.

One thing is for sure, though—generative AI tools are here to stay. Learning how to use them will be essential for anyone working in the field of content marketing.

So, what are you waiting for?

Click, publish, rank!

Try ContentShake AI—instantly create content that brings organic traffic and leads.

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