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How to Use ChatGPT for Beginners

Jeff Joyce
Thursday, 31st Aug 2023
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:

How to Use 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: Create an OpenAI Account

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.

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

 

The ChatGPT login screen

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.”

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

Step 2: Start Your First Conversation

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 you need.

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, DALL-E, and ChatGPT plugins from third-party developers.

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

For a more detailed explanation of how does ChatGPT work, read our complete guide.

Conversing with 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 experimenting with these examples and familiarizing yourself with the ChatGPT interface, it’s time to ask your first question.

Step 1: Enter Your Prompt

Type your question or prompt in the input box and hit enter to submit it to ChatGPT.

Step 2: Review ChatGPT’s Response

Read ChatGPT’s response carefully and consider how well it addresses your question or prompt.

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 to 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.

After submitting your edited prompt or new prompt, ChatGPT will generate a new response based on the updated input. Read the new response and continue interacting with ChatGPT until you are satisfied with the output.

Step 3: Copy the Response

If you’re satisfied with ChatGPT’s response and want to save it for future reference, you can copy and paste its response to other applications or word processors for editing and formatting — depending on the purpose of your content.

Simply highlight the text of the response, right-click, and select “Copy” from the context menu.

Step 4: Share Your ChatGPT Conversation

If you want to share your conversation with others, you can copy the text of both your prompt and ChatGPT’s response and paste it into an email, document, or messaging app.

You can also share a screenshot of the ChatGPT interface showing your conversation.

How to Use ChatGPT with Voice

ChatGPT supports voice prompts so you can verbally communicate with the bot. However, this hands-free feature is exclusively available on iOS and Android platforms.

Step 1: Enable Voice

Open the ChatGPT app and ensure you have the latest version. Go to Settings and find the Voice option (it might be under New Features). Toggle it on to activate the feature.

Step 2: Customize Voice

Adjust language, voice preference, and speech speed within the Voice settings.

Step 3: Start Talking

Tap the microphone icon on the main screen and speak your prompt. ChatGPT will transcribe your voice and respond verbally.

After your chat, a text transcript of the entire conversation will be displayed and automatically stored in your chat history. If you have a ChatGPT Plus or Enterprise account, your conversation will also include clickable links to relevant sources.

How to Use ChatGPT with Images

The image input feature of ChatGPT enables users to add images to their text prompts (accessible for Plus and Enterprise subscribers on both desktop and mobile).

This functionality allows for various applications such as capturing images of plants to learn their species name or asking ChatGPT to write alternative text descriptions for images.

Step 1: Open the App

Launch the ChatGPT app and navigate to the main screen where you enter prompts.

Step 2: Add an Image

Tap the picture icon (or the plus button or paperclip icon on some versions) to choose an image from your gallery or capture a new one.

Step 3: Add a Text Prompt (Optional)

In the text box below the image, type a question or instruction related to the image. This helps guide ChatGPT’s analysis.

Step 4: Send

Once you’re ready, submit your image and prompt to ChatGPT.

How to Use ChatGPT to Create AI Images

Beyond text and audio responses, ChatGPT can also create AI images with the integration of OpenAI’s DALL-E image generator. This feature is only available for ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise subscribers.

You can ask ChatGPT to generate an image of a person, animal, scenery, and just about anything that’s within the ethical boundaries set by OpenAI.

Step 1: Access DALL-E

Open the ChatGPT app and log in to your Plus account. From the sidebar menu, select DALL-E from the top navigation bar.

Step 2: Write Your Prompt

In the text box, write a clear and detailed description of the image you want to generate. Be specific about the subject, style, setting, and any other relevant details.

Step 3: Generate Images

Click the send button (arrow up icon) to submit your prompt.

DALL-E will generate two different images based on your description.

Step 4: Refine or Download

If you are not satisfied with any of the images, you can edit your prompt and click Generate Images again to see new variations.

If you like the results, click the download button (arrow down icon) to save it to your device.

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:

  • 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 sarcasm or jokes.
  • 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 tends to generate biased responses based on training data.
  • ChatGPT doesn’t have common sense and might provide answers that sound sensible but are contextually incorrect.
  • 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.

Go to our guide for a full list of ChatGPT limitations.

How to Write ChatGPT 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.

Here are a few examples of good and bad prompts for ChatGPT:

Bad Prompt: “Tell me about history.”

Good Prompt: “Imagine you’re explaining the causes of World War I to a curious student.”

Bad Prompt: “Give me a pizza recipe with chicken.”

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

Bad Prompt: “Write a horror story.”

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

Bad Prompt: “Is climate change a problem?”

Good Prompt: “Explain the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems and discuss potential solutions.”

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?”

Read our full guide on how to write ChatGPT prompts that will get the best results, whether you’re using ChatGPT for work, school, or as a personal assistant.

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.

Design

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.

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.

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.

Want to know more about what ChatGPT can do? Here’s our latest blog post on what ChatGPT is used for, including some interesting use cases like writing jokes and composing music.

ChatGPT Alternatives

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

Google Bard is now Google Gemini — featuring a more advanced architecture that can handle more complex tasks, understand deeper language contexts, and achieve greater accuracy. Trained on a larger and more diverse dataset, Gemini offers better responses and enhanced capabilities in various areas. And unlike Bard which primarily focused on text, Gemini can process images, code, audio, and video, allowing it to handle more complex prompts and tasks.

In addition to Google Gemini, other chatbots such as Vicuna, Claude, HuggingChat, and Bing Chat 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.

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 Jeff Joyce

See more from Jeff Joyce
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