Discovering New Writing Topics With AI
May 2, 2023
AI can empower you at any stage of the writing process. Here’s how to leverage AI to generate ideas for new writing topics.
For the topic-generation stage of The Publishing Process, I make the case that action is the first step in the writing process — the best way to create great writing is to take action in the real world (and reflect on it through writing).
But once you have the base-level idea of the topic you want to explore through writing, you can use AI to explore new directions to take the post.
AI as a Research Assistant
The goal of using AI at this stage of The Publishing Process is to have the AI “research” different potential writing opportunities. With this research, you can create a post you may not have otherwise thought to write.
Reminder: when working with AI, the better your original input into the AI, the better the output it will generate. So, when using AI to generate new topic ideas, you want to spend time strategizing your initial direction. You wouldn’t give your research assistant a task without specific instruction and direction. (Read some prompts you can use to spark ideas).
Uncovering new directions for a case study
For example, say you know you want to write a case study that highlights a successful customer.
With the general idea of a “case study” and your accompanying experience with that customer, the AI can give you new, unique directions to take the post.
This is the equivalent of asking a research assistant to search the internet for examples of unique case studies created by other organizations. Based on that research, the assistant is tasked to develop different ideas that would incorporate those examples into your specific situation. You can read the specific output of this example here.
When prompting the AI at this stage, remember:
Garbage in, Garbage out. The more specific, detailed, and thoughtful your input is, the better the output will be. Give as much context as possible — take a few sentences to describe your situation in detail.
Be as descriptive as possible when asking for your output. Don’t simply ask for 5 topic ideas related to your situation. Instead, ask for, “5 different creative examples of a post I could write for my specific audience. Give 150 words of context for each topic idea.”
Moving to a Bullet Draft
Once you receive these ideas, you can use them as inspiration for new directions to take your post.
Upon deciding on the general direction of your post, quickly move to writing a Bullet Draft.