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How to Use ChatGPT for Beginners

Julia McCoy
Thursday, 31st Aug 2023
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
how to use chatgpt

You’ve always been intrigued by the wonders of AI.

Learning how to use ChatGPT, a powerful language model, seemed like an exciting challenge you couldn’t resist.

You dove in headfirst, eager to explore its vast potential and maybe even create your own virtual assistant or write that blog post you’ve been procrastinating on.

The first few attempts? Let’s just say they were less than stellar – kind of like trying to decipher hieroglyphics without the Rosetta Stone.

But don’t despair! Mastering how to use ChatGPT is not as daunting as it seems. It’s all about understanding the mechanics behind this AI marvel and learning how to communicate effectively with it.

In this blog post, you will learn not only how to use ChatGPT but also understand its role as a language model and how it can help your personal and professional life.

Table of Contents:

What is ChatGPT: A Quick Overview

If you’ve been curious about how ChatGPT works, we will give you a brief summary below.

ChatGPT is a revolutionary platform designed by OpenAI that is changing lives with its applications ranging from blog post writing to code generation. If you are interested, check out who owns ChatGPT and how it got started.

The Magic Behind ChatGPT: The Generative Pre-Trained Transformer

Meet the backbone of ChatGPT – the generative pre-trained transformer. This AI-powered wizard predicts words in sentences based on context — kind of like finishing your sentence before you do. It learns from massive amounts of data gleaned from books and websites, understanding human language patterns in depth.

The more it interacts with real-world text data sources, the better it gets at producing coherent responses or content — an example of machine learning techniques at their finest.

Artificial intelligence allows Chat GPT to grasp linguistic nuances far beyond traditional software capabilities, resulting in conversations that are eerily human-like.

And thanks to continuous learning mechanisms, the AI evolves over time — becoming smarter and more efficient at generating responses.

Infographic courtesy of FourWeekMBA

How to Access ChatGPT

Ready to unlock the potential of AI? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get ChatGPT’s latest version.

Step 1: On your web browser, go to OpenAI’s website and click “Sign up” to create an account. You can sign up using your email address or your existing account with Google, Microsoft, or Apple.

The ChatGPT login screen

Step 2: Enter some basic information such as your email address and name, and set up a password.

Step 3: Read the terms and conditions, which require your agreement before moving forward (yes, we know it can be tedious, but it’s very important.). Once you’ve accepted, go ahead and click “Create New Account.”

Step 4: You will receive a verification link in your email inbox. Click it to validate your account and you’re ready to go.

After completing the login process, you will be taken to the ChatGPT chat interface where you can start asking questions or write prompts to tell the AI what to do.

Ask ChatGPT any question and type it in the chatbox

You can use ChatGPT free of charge, but there is also a paid option (ChatGPT Plus) that gives you priority access to advanced features like GPT-4 — which is the latest version of the software — and ChatGPT plugins from third-party developers.

Is ChatGPT Plus worth it? Depends on what you are using it for!

Conversing with a Chatbot: How to Use ChatGPT

The magic happens in the chat window – it’s where ChatGPT responds to your queries or prompts.

Every time you type in a question or a command, you will see ChatGPT writing its answers in real-time. These responses are not just words randomly strung together — they’re based on billions of data points, meticulously crafted to closely mimic human speech patterns.

If this is your first time using ChatGPT, you can try experimenting with the samples provided on the welcome page. In our screenshot above, ChatGPT suggested four types of prompts: “Plan a trip”, “Explain why popcorn pops”, “Compare marketing strategies”, and “Make up a story.”

Here’s what ChatGPT wrote when I clicked on those suggestions.

“Plan a trip to experience Seoul like a local”

“Explain why popcorn pops to a kid who loves watching it in the microwave”

“Compare marketing strategies for sunglasses for Gen Z and Millennials”

“Make up a story about Sharky, a tooth-brushing shark superhero”

After ChatGPT finishes writing, you can copy and paste its response to other applications or word processors for editing and formatting — depending on the purpose of your content.

The Art of Writing Effective Prompts

ChatGPT generates responses based on prompts using a process called “autoregressive language modeling” which predicts the next word in a sequence of words based on the words that have come before it.

It’s important to note that ChatGPT doesn’t have true understanding or consciousness. It generates responses based on patterns it has learned from the training data. Therefore, the quality of its response depends on the quality of the prompt provided.

Prompts are custom instructions that play a crucial role in guiding the model’s output. A well-crafted prompt provides context, instructions, and constraints, guiding the model to generate relevant and coherent responses. 

However, since the model’s responses are generated based on patterns in the data, it’s possible for it to produce incorrect, nonsensical, or biased content if the prompt is not carefully designed or if it encounters a topic it hasn’t been trained on.

Writing prompts for AI models like ChatGPT is both an art and a science that requires careful consideration and creativity. An effective prompt serves as the foundation for generating meaningful and relevant responses. 

Here are some tips for writing custom instructions for ChatGPT:

Be Clear and Specific

Clearly communicate the context and desired outcome to the AI. Chat GPT will generate responses that are unrelated or irrelevant if your prompts are vague or ambiguous. Be specific about the topic, scenario, or role you want the AI to adopt.


  • Bad Prompt: “Tell me about history.”
  • Good Prompt: “Imagine you’re explaining the causes of World War I to a curious student.”

Provide Context

Offer background information to set the scene or situation for the AI. This helps the AI to generate more coherent and contextually appropriate responses.


  • Bad Prompt: “Give me a recipe for chicken.”
  • Good Prompt: “You’re writing a recipe for a classic Italian Margherita pizza. Describe the ingredients and cooking instructions.”

Apply Constraints

If you want the AI to mimic a certain style, tone, or format, make sure to specify it in the prompt. Constraints help guide the AI’s behavior and ensure it generates content in the desired manner.


  • Bad Prompt: “Write a horror story.”
  • Good Prompt: “Write a 200-word horror story with a suspenseful buildup and a surprising twist ending.”

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Encourage the AI to provide detailed and thoughtful responses by asking questions that require more than just a simple yes/no answer. Open-ended questions stimulate creativity and engagement.


  • Bad Prompt: “Is climate change a problem?”
  • Good Prompt: “Explain the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems and discuss potential solutions.”

Personalize Your Prompt

Incorporate personalization into your prompt to make the AI responses more engaging and relatable. This can help create a conversational and interactive experience.


  • Bad Prompt: “What is the weather like in New York?”
  • Good Prompt: “I’m planning a trip to New York next week. Could you provide me with the weather forecast for that period?”

Experiment with Tone and Style

Play around with different tones and styles in your prompts to get a variety of responses from the AI. Whether it’s formal, casual, humorous, or informative, adjusting the prompt can yield diverse results.


  • Prompt 1: “Explain the concept of time dilation in a simple and humorous way.”
  • Prompt 2: “Describe the mind-bending concept of time dilation in a formal scientific manner.”

Edit Your Prompt and Regenerate Responses

Another key step in using ChatGPT effectively is regenerating responses.

If you are not satisfied with the initial reply from ChatGPT, there are three ways you can get new answers on the same topic.

First, you can click the Regenerate button at the bottom of the page to generate a new response from ChatGPT.

Click the “regenerate” button to regenerate a response

You can also identify what’s missing or what you want to change and modify your initial prompt. To do this, navigate to your initial prompt, hover your cursor over it, and find the “edit” icon on the top right of your prompt. By clicking this icon, you can introduce any necessary changes to your initial prompt before clicking “Save & Submit.”

Click the “edit” icon to edit your initial prompt

Lastly, you can choose to write a completely new prompt.

Review responses carefully. While ChatGPT might not have reached perfection yet, reviewing responses from any AI is crucial for ensuring accuracy.

Keep track of your chat history, which you can view on the left column of the chat window. Study your previous prompts and see how you can improve them for future queries.

If there’s something wrong, don’t hesitate to share constructive criticism with OpenAI developers. They’re constantly looking for ways to improve upon the current versions released for public usage, thus benefiting everyone involved in the process!

Remember, experimentation is key when crafting prompts. You might need to iterate and adjust your prompts to get the desired responses from the AI. 

Start with a clear objective and gradually refine your prompts based on the AI’s output.

Limitations of ChatGPT

Keep in mind that inappropriate requests are off-limits. OpenAI has implemented safety policies that prevent ChatGPT from creating content that is abusive, offensive, or harmful.

While the responses from ChatGPT are pretty good, like any tool it is not foolproof. Always fact-check the information provided by ChatGPT, and as a safety measure, do not use ChatGPT data to make life, health, and financial decisions.

Here are some of the limitations of ChatGPT:

  • ChatGPT tends to be very busy most of the time so expect some delays when accessing it. (Tip: You can get ChatGPT Plus for $20/month for priority access).
  • ChatGPT tends to struggle with esoteric subjects related to pop culture, games, films, etc.
  • When faced with a question it doesn’t know the answer to, ChatGPT might try to make up a response based on its training data, even if the answer is fabricated.
  • ChatGPT cannot make moral or ethical decisions.
  • ChatGPT doesn’t truly understand the text it generates. It relies on patterns it learned during training and doesn’t possess actual comprehension or awareness. This is why the chatbot cannot understand sarcasm or jokes in a broader context.
  • ChatGPT has a limited ability to converse naturally — sounding like a robot at times.
  • ChatGPT can be overly verbose and repetitive. It might state the same information in different ways or fill space with unnecessary words.
  • ChatGPT has a tendency to generate biased responses based on training data.
  • ChatGPT doesn’t possess inherent common sense knowledge and might provide answers that sound sensible but are contextually incorrect or nonsensical.
  • ChatGPT doesn’t possess specialized knowledge beyond its training data. For topics that require deep expertise, the responses might be shallow or inaccurate.

As a language model, ChatGPT cannot answer questions that:

  • Require personal opinion or beliefs
  • Are illegal, unethical, or inappropriate
  • Require knowledge beyond its training data (knowledge cut-off is September 2021)
  • Are impossible to answer with the available information
  • Involve speculation or conjecture without evidence
  • Ask for future predictions with complete certainty
  • Violate OpenAI’s use-case policy.

How to Use ChatGPT for Business

In the realm of business, GPT technology can be a game-changer. It provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to customize their websites for superior customer support and efficient lead generation.

This AI assistant can help you develop comprehensive strategies based on specific goals, budgets, and product details that you provide. For instance, it could generate a marketing strategy or help you write your company’s mission statement and values.

Content Marketing

In content marketing and SEO, this AI-powered tool can significantly improve your content development process, providing support at every stage.

Imagine having an assistant that could help you overcome writer’s block or speed up the brainstorming phase by generating blog post ideas and outlines. That’s exactly what access to ChatGPT provides.

With ChatGPT as your content marketing assistant, you can:

  • Write engaging stories or descriptions: Add your keywords or content ideas to your ChatGPT prompt and watch it generate company storylines, short blog posts, or product descriptions tailored to your brand voice.
  • Manage your social media content: Writing captions for social media posts has never been easier with the assistance of this powerful tool.
  • Optimize your existing content: Got content that’s performing poorly? Let ChatGPT review it and suggest improvements where necessary.


In the field of design, ChatGPT is introducing new ways to spark creativity. This AI-powered tool can help designers and graphic artists generate fresh concepts and ideas, providing an invaluable resource for creating visual materials.

Beyond just generating ideas, ChatGPT acts as a virtual feedback partner, offering constructive criticism on your work. By asking specific questions such as “How could I improve this logo?” or “What do you think about these color choices?”, you can prompt ChatGPT to provide a unique perspective and insightful suggestions.

Customer Support

Customer support is a crucial aspect of any successful business. With the introduction of ChatGPT, businesses now have an innovative tool to enhance their customer service operations.

How can ChatGPT help?

  • 24/7 Availability: ChatGPT can be available round-the-clock to assist customers, even outside of your business hours. This ensures that customers get timely help regardless of their time zone.
  • Instant Responses: With ChatGPT, you can provide immediate responses to customer inquiries. This eliminates wait times and frustration, leading to a more positive customer experience.
  • Consistency: ChatGPT delivers consistent responses based on the information it has been trained on. This ensures that customers receive the same accurate information regardless of who’s handling their query.
  • Faster Issue Resolution: ChatGPT can quickly analyze customer issues and provide relevant solutions such as escalating a problem to a human agent. This speeds up the resolution process and increases customer satisfaction.
  • Reduced Workload for Support Agents: Routine and repetitive inquiries can be handled by ChatGPT, allowing your support agents to focus on more complex and high-value tasks that require human intervention.
  • Personalization: By integrating customer data, ChatGPT can provide personalized recommendations and responses based on a customer’s purchase history, preferences, and past interactions.
  • Onboarding and Tutorials: ChatGPT can assist new customers with onboarding processes and provide step-by-step tutorials, ensuring they can make the most of your products or services.
  • Feedback and Surveys: ChatGPT can collect feedback from customers after interactions, helping you understand areas of improvement and gauge customer satisfaction levels.
  • Cost-Effective: Implementing ChatGPT can be more cost-effective than hiring and training additional support staff, especially for smaller businesses with limited budgets.

While ChatGPT can greatly enhance your customer service efforts, it won’t replace human support agents entirely especially for complex and emotionally charged issues. A hybrid approach, where ChatGPT handles routine queries and escalates more complex ones to human agents, can strike the right balance between automation and human touch in customer interactions.

Interesting Cases of How to Use ChatGPT

Although we’re talking about how to use ChatGPT from a business perspective, there are plenty of ways you can interact with this chatbot in your everyday lives.

Here are some interesting uses of ChatGPT: 

Write CVs and Resumes

When creating a CV or resume, you can provide ChatGPT with your educational background, work experience, skills, and achievements. ChatGPT can assist by suggesting appropriate sections, optimizing the structure, and helping you emphasize your qualifications based on the job you’re applying for.

Prepare for a Job Interview

In this scenario, you can role-play a job interview by asking typical interview questions. ChatGPT will simulate the interviewer and provide feedback on your responses. It can help you refine your answers, emphasize your strengths, and address potential weaknesses.

Brainstorm Business Ideas

Share your vision for a business with ChatGPT, including your industry, your target market, and any preferences you have. ChatGPT can offer a range of creative business concepts, outline the pros and cons, and discuss the feasibility of your ideas.

Recommend Products and Services

For generating recommendations, you can provide details about a customer’s preferences, needs, and budget. ChatGPT can then suggest products or services that align with those factors and highlight the features that match the customer’s needs, making it easier for customers to make informed decisions.

Simplify Complex Ideas

When faced with intricate concepts, present the idea to ChatGPT along with any specific terms or details you’d like to simplify. It will rephrase the content using simpler language, aiding in better understanding for a broader audience.

Compose Music

Describe the mood, style, and instruments you have in mind for a piece of music. While not a professional composer, ChatGPT can generate basic musical ideas or suggest chord progressions to inspire your composition.

Solve Math Problems

Provide the math problem or equation to ChatGPT. It can solve equations, perform calculations, and provide step-by-step explanations, helping you understand the process or check your own work.

Write Code

Explain the coding task or problem you’re trying to solve, and ChatGPT can generate code snippets in various programming languages. It can assist with common coding challenges, but for complex projects, you might need specialized tools.

Language Translation

When communicating with a global audience, you can simply input the text into ChatGPT and specify the target language. While not as accurate as professional translation services, ChatGPT can provide basic translation for simpler content.

Draft and Grade Essays

Provide the essay topic and key points you want to cover and ChatGPT will generate a preliminary draft for you to build upon. 

For grading, provide the criteria, and it can evaluate the essay’s coherence, relevance, and structure.

Draft an Exam or Quiz

Describe the subject matter and level of difficulty for the assessment. ChatGPT can create multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, or prompts for essay-type responses, tailored to your specifications.

Summarize Any Subject

Enter the subject or topic you need to summarize, whether it’s the history of a country, a technology, or a person. ChatGPT can provide a concise overview of the main concepts and key information, making it useful for quick references or studying.

Write a Short Biography

Share the relevant details about a person’s significant milestones, achievements, and details. ChatGPT can help structure a biography, highlighting notable events in a coherent narrative.

Write Jokes

Provide a context or topic for the joke you want. ChatGPT can generate light-hearted jokes or puns, although its humor might not always hit the mark.

Use It Like a Mini Search Engine

Ask ChatGPT questions or present topics to get explanations, answers, or information based on its training data up until September 2021. While it’s not as comprehensive as dedicated search engines, it can provide insights or explanations for various subjects.

Remember that while ChatGPT is versatile, its responses are based on patterns in the data it was trained on and might not always be accurate or suitable for critical tasks. Use its output as a helpful starting point and exercise your judgment accordingly.

The potential applications of ChatGPT extend beyond just these areas. From generating original interview questions to creating training curriculums — the possibilities are endless!

uses for chatgpt

ChatGPT Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to the ChatGPT app, there are several options available. One of the most notable is Google Bard, a language model based on Google’s own LaMDA technology.

Google has been introducing Bard in recent updates, making it an increasingly compelling alternative. However, while this GPT technology offers key advantages over ChatGPT — such as direct access to the Internet and real-time information — it may not be quite as advanced yet.

In addition to Google Bard, other chatbots such as Vicuna, Claude, HuggingChat, and Bing Chat have emerged this year and offer different features and functionalities that could potentially rival those offered by ChatGPT.

While choosing between these options largely depends on individual preferences and requirements, understanding how they work is crucial before deciding which best suits your needs.

FAQs – How to Use ChatGPT

How to get ChatGPT?

The first step on how to get Chat GPT is creating your account. Visit OpenAI’s website, click on “Sign up”, and accept ChatGPT’s terms. You will need to enter some basic information for registration purposes.

You can use the free version of the Chat GPT app through their website once you’ve created an account. However, if you want more features like encrypted message CC or using plugins with other software applications, consider subscribing to their API access plan which offers enhanced functionality.

Is ChatGPT free?

Yes, OpenAI offers a free version of Chat GPT. However, there is also a subscription-based plan called Chat GPT Plus that provides additional features for $20/month.

How do I get the best out of ChatGPT?

The key to making the most out of Chat GPT is prompt engineering. By crafting detailed, specific prompts, you can get the AI to generate responses that match your queries.

Boost Your Productivity With ChatGPT

Throughout this guide, you have explored the fascinating world of ChatGPT.

Now, you have a solid understanding of how to use ChatGPT and the many ways it can help you in your personal and professional life.

We’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to access ChatGPT and create an account so you can get started right away.

More importantly, you now have basic knowledge of prompting and how these custom instructions can help guide the AI in generating appropriate responses to your queries.

Your journey does not end here, though. There is always more to explore and learn when it comes to AI tools like ChatGPT, and we have all the resources you need to navigate these unfamiliar waters. 

If your goal is to enhance productivity, learning how to use ChatGPT is just one step forward on that path! The next leap awaits at Content at Scale.

Written by Julia McCoy

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