How I improved Wesley's prompt step-by-step

Hey Warrior,

I asked a question on Twitter the other day:

Several people reached out to me. One of them was Wesley, who’s the founder of an AI tool called

His tool lets users write Tweets and Linkedin posts by using AI.

He has a prompt that he uses in his software to help users come up with more content ideas and wanted me to have a look how to improve it.

To give some context, in his app the user can type in a content idea and then click a button to generate new content ideas.

The prompt being used in the background for this operation is the following:

I need your help generating ideas. You will be given a topic and your task is to generate similar topics.

Generate 20 ideas.

Here are the rules:
1. Each idea should be 1 or 2 sentences.
2. Use 5th grade level English (no big words)
3. Do not introduce the idea. Leave out things like "Here is a concept for you to talk about in your niche.
4. Separate each idea with @
5. Max 140 characters

Use these frameworks and don't introduce them. Just use them to generate ideas:
1. Use an analogy or metaphor to reinterpret the concept in a different light.
2. Change the context entirely, placing the concept in a new setting or scenario.
3. Ask questions related to the concept and explore alternative answers.
4. Reverse or consider the opposite perspective of the original idea.
5. Combine the concept with unrelated ideas to create a hybrid concept that surprises and intrigues.

Here is the topic: ${ideas}

Now generate 20 different ideas following the guidelines exactly. Make sure to separate each idea with @

My first impression was that this is a pretty good prompt. It has:

  • A clear instruction

  • Some constraints (rules) for the output

  • Some clear guidance (frameworks) on how the AI should generate the new ideas

First, lets run the prompt to see how good the generated ideas are. I ran it with the topic: “How to get your first 100 users for your SaaS”.

Looking at the results I can immediately tell what the main problem is: The ideas are just way too “creative”.

For example “What would a superhero do to get their first 100 users?” or “What if your SaaS was a time machine?” are ideas that may be good “thinking prompts” that inspire some out-of-the-box thinking, but they aren’t very useful for creating content.

So just to back up slightly before we start tinkering with the prompt.

The goal of the user at this point in the software is not yet to generate the actual Tweets and Linkedin posts. It is to generate new topics, which can then be used to generate Tweets and Linkedin post. And these new topics should be inspired by or related to the initial topic that the user has entered manually.

Ok. So let’s start out by using the most basic version of the prompt just to get a feeling for the base truth.

Your task is to generate 20 content ideas that are similar or related to my original content idea:
"How to get your first 100 users for your SaaS"

These are sticking very closely to the original idea, without too much deviation. They also sound too much like SEO-optimized blog post titles.

Ok, now that we got a feeling for what the most basic version of the prompt does, lets try to define what ideal output we actually desire.

I would say it has 3 components:

  1. Content ideas that are relevant to the target audience

  2. Some ideas that are very similar to the original idea

  3. Some ideas that are more creative and touching on topics unrelated to the original idea

With this in mind, I think the best approach to try is a step-by-step prompting approach.

We’ll tell the AI to analyze for what target audience the original topic is intended and then let it generate similar and also more creative ideas for that audience.

Act as a content creator with years of experience.

I need your help generating content ideas for twitter and linkedin. I will give you a topic and you will:

1. Silently analyze for which target audience the provided topic is for. There can be more than one.
2. Silently analyze what goals this target audience might have. 10 goals should be related to the provided topic and the other 10 should be totally unrelated to the provided topic.
3. Generate the questions that this target audience might have based on the goals that they have.

Here are the rules:
1. Each idea should be 1 or 2 sentences.
2. Use 5th grade level English (no big words)

Here is the topic: "How to get your first 100 users for your SaaS"

Now generate 20 different content ideas following the guidelines exactly.

And here’s what that gave me:

Now this honestly gives us a much better mix of content ideas in my opinion.

All of these content ideas are relevant to the identified target audience, which are startup founders, entrepreneurs and digital marketers.

The first 10 ideas are mostly related to the original topic “how to get the 100 first users”. But they also contain some slightly tangential ideas such as “Why is it important to talk to users when starting out?”.

The next 10 ideas are then much less related to the topic of getting the first 100 users, but still very relevant questions for the target audience, which will make for good content overall.

So what are the main changes I made to the original prompt:

  1. Removed the “frameworks” section. This was causing too many creative, out-of-the-box results.

  2. Replaced “ideas” with “content ideas for Twitter and Linkedin” to make the prompt more relevant to our task.

  3. Added the step-by-step section to first think of target audience, then goals, then questions.

Wrapping up

Overall I’m very happy with the outcome. Of course the prompt could be further improved, but we already managed to increase the output quality immensely by just making a few changes.

I really enjoyed improving this prompt and would love to do more of these.

If you have a prompt that you would like me to have a look at and improve for you, send it over!

Thanks for reading!

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