Silent Sunday 3

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© Gene'O, 2014.

© Gene’O, 2014.

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Blog Traffic and Engagement: Zemanta

In case you missed my announcement on Friday, I have a post about how I use various social networks going at Jessica Leeman’s blog Social Media tomorrow. This is my first true guest post, and I’m thrilled.

I’ve been playing around this week with an app called Zemanta. I started noticing bloggers using it awhile ago. I had a brief conversation with Vijay over at Half Eaten Mind about it last month and put it on my list of things to look into. Last week I had a chat with Julian at The Extremis Review and he shared some info with me about what it’s done for his traffic. That conversation convinced me that I needed to give it a close look immediately.

You can get it as a blog plug-in if you use WordPress.org. I’m running it as a browser extension because that allows it to work for my posts at Part Time Monster and Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts as well as my own blogs. Here’s a list of features:

Screenshot 2014-07-26 13.45.03

  1. It adds “Content Recommendations” to your dashboard, which suggests both articles and images that you can include in your post as you write it. The content recommendations menu is collapsible, so you can hide it when you’re not using it.
  2. It suggests tags, which is a big help, because it saves time trying to think them up.
  3. It suggests related content and allows you to add related articles to the bottom of your post. This is its best feature in my mind, because it gives me a way to link to other blogs, and I don’t have to disable the built-in “related content” feature on WordPress to do it. I can use them both.

I’m still figuring out how it works. So far, I’ve gotten a few useful things from it, but I’ve also gotten a lot of things that aren’t really helpful, like links to Wikipedia and big media articles. The tags aren’t always good. I just set up an account and added my blogs as sources this weekend. As I link to other bloggers in the future, I’ll add those blogs as sources as well. I’m hoping that as I use the app more, the suggestions will get more useful, and I’m interested in any advice other people might have on tweaks that might make the suggestions better.

Here’s what related content added with Zemanta looks like: