Have you ever found yourself with several browser tabs open while blogging, searching for references, images or related information to support and link to in your article? You probably have. How great would it be if that information came to you while you were writing? This would not only save you time, but also would jumpstart your creativity since you wouldn’t have to stop your thought process to navigate away from your work.
Zemanta strives to help bloggers with this every day. It works on most browsers and blogging platforms, making it practically universal – perfect for bloggers.
The Idea Behind Zemanta
Zemanta is simply a company that is about social blogging. Isn’t blogging social already? Well, kind of. However, Zemanta strives to connect you, the blogger, with similar bloggers and a larger audience who are interested in the same topics that you write about. For example, let’s say you have a food blog where you post about creative recipes that you have recently tried. You want an audience who is interested in the same thing right? Of course – that’s what every blogger wants. And you want to connect with other bloggers and writers who enjoy sharing similar information and content right? Again, of course. Zemanta assists you with this, enhancing the social aspect of blogging even more.
How Zemanta Helps You, The Blogger
As I said above, Zemanta is all about assisting you, the blogger in connecting with others who wish to read or share about similar topics. There are several ways they accomplish this; through providing links to related articles, suggesting images, providing links to keywords within your article, suggesting tags, and by enhancing the social connection between you and others with the same interest.
Versatile across blogging platforms and browsers
As the image above states, once you’ve installed Zemanta it will automatically load on blogging platforms including WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, TypePad, Posterous, Movable Type, and Drupal. As far as browser support goes, it supports Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Safari. Note that the actual name of the extension varies some from browser to browser. In Firefox it is called “Blogger’s Personal Assistant,” while in Chrome and IE it is called “Related Content.” In Safari it is simply called “Zemanta.”
Provides resources through related articles
Adding related articles into your blog post is a great idea for a couple reasons. For one, it provides your readers with more diverse information and shows them that you aren’t only interested in them reading your blog, but you also want them to read great content elsewhere too. Secondly, it makes fellow bloggers of those blogs happy that you’re directing traffic their way. Because of this, it could very well result in a relationship with that blogger and they might just link back to you later on.
Below is what it looks like in your dashboard (screenshot taken in WordPress)
Below is what it might look like on your blog:
Suggests images similar to your content
Adding images to blog posts can be a daunting task. First you have to find an appropriate image. Then you have to make sure that it’s under the rights that make it appropriate for you to use. Zemanta takes care of these worries by displaying relevant images.
Also, there are several options you have when embedding an image into your blog post.
Below is the finished product. As you can see the embedded image includes the source.
Easily link in-text keywords to outside sources
Although linking to articles is great, sometimes simply linking to a keyword or several at a time works better. It allows the reader to explore more on that linked topic that may not even be the exact topic of your blog post. For example, in the article on my personal website about creating a personal website, I may want to link to Wikipedia to give more information about what a domain name is. This allows me to stay on topic while still providing information to my readers which they might find relevant personally.
This is how it appears when a reader is viewing your blog post:
Stronger SEO through tag suggestions
I’m personally not an expert on search engine optimization (SEO), however I do understand the important of tagging your posts and the affect it has on results in search engines. I don’t think you really need to know the technical aspect to realize that it has importance in getting your blog out there.
That said, sometimes we simply aren’t sure what tags to type, or don’t want to take the time to type them all out. Zemanta displays tags that you might want to associate your post with, then leaves it up to you whether you want to include them or not. You simply add them by clicking on them.
Sign Up And Reap Even More Benefits
To use Zemanta, you don’t need an account. However, I’ve found it very beneficial to have one – plus, there’s really no reason not to. Having an account allows you to add your own blogs and image accounts to your Zemanta profile. This allows you to find and link to not only your own past posts and photos, but it also means your blogs and posts will be indexed in Zemanta’s database making them more likely to be found and promoted by other bloggers that are similar to you.
Zemanta will also notify you when your blog is linked to. In addition, you can also link your Amazon Affiliate ID with Zemanta. There are a plethora of other options available as well.
Zemanta is an excellent tool for any blogger, no matter your experience, topic or frequency of blogging. If you blog, plan to blog, or maybe want to get back into blogging, try Zemanta – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
What is your experience with Zemanta? Has it improved your blogging experience? Do you have any additional tips in using Zemanta?