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 Reviewย 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:

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12 thoughts on “Blog Traffic and Engagement: Zemanta

  1. Interesting… I’ll be curious to hear how this works as you work with it more (or, you know, if I decide to grab it and give it a try myself.) The idea of content recommendation is nice — right now I’m working from a far-far-far-from perfect system to pull together good links to connect to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, pulling links and embedding them has always been one of the most time-consuming parts of blogging for me. I am hoping this program is smart enough to suggest things based on my preferences, and on the blogs I list as sources once I’ve used it as a signed-in user for awhile.

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  2. Hey, thanks for taking your time and writing a blog post about our service! I must admit we are a bit stoked about it, no matter how many times we read about it (to be honest)!

    I just wanted to briefly drop into this conversation and let you know that when you start linking out to other quality, related content from around the web (via our service), you automatically enter our Recommendations Pool, which means that your blog is also eligible for others to use as related posts on their blogs. (We do check all blogs for spammy, NSFW or racist content, before letting them in.)

    Hope that cleared some things up a bit, but please do let me know if you guys have any more questions or if there’s anything else that’s not completely clear, since I’ll gladly help!

    Here’s my email address: support[at]zemanta[dot]com
    And here’s the link to our blog, where you can read more about our updates: http://www.zemanta.com/blog/

    Thanks again for the nice words & I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!

    Take care & have a nice day!

    Best,
    Silvo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had just started looking into the built-in Zemanta that WordPress.com had right when it got pulled… glad to see there’s a way I could work it into the flow! Will have to play with this further!

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  4. Pingback: In Which I Have a Lightbulb Moment and Understand How to Sort My Social Media | Just Gene'O

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