Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Getting More Out of blogging with zemantaPersonally I love blogging. I write for the company blog on a regular basis, but I also write on several other blogs.

However I’d be the first to admit that I am not afraid of taking advantage of whatever tools I can find to help speed up the process and improve it.

Zemanta, in my opinion, is probably the most powerful and useful tool in my personal blogging “toolbox”.

You might have noticed the Zemanta icon on some of our blog posts in the past. It’s also the tool we use to help suggest “related” articles from sources we trust that end up in the footer of our posts here.

So what exactly is Zemanta?

Zemanta is a service which works by scanning your content as you write it and then makes “intelligent” suggestions for images, related links and tags.

That’s a very simplistic overview. In reality there’s quite a bit more “under the hood”.

Before getting under the hood, let’s cover a couple of the more basic things.

How do you get it?

You can just go here and install one of the browser plugins, or the plugin for your content management or blogging software.

How much does it cost?

Nothing. It’s 100% free.

Do I need to signup for an account to use it?

No, but if you do create an account you’ll be able to access the more powerful tools. See screenshot below (click to enlarge)

Zemanta preferences screen

Zemanta preferences screen

 

You can also tell the system more about you, including things like your Flickr ID, Twitter handle and which sites you author.

Zemanta personalisation

Zemanta personalisation

Zemanta Flickr

Zemanta Flickr

And since the system works by suggesting content for you, including tags, photos and links, the more information you give it the more relevant the suggestions will be and the more time you’ll save, while also improving your blog writing.

Zemanta Monetisation via Amazon US

Zemanta Monetisation via Amazon US

It also allows you to make money, in theory at least, as it hooks into the Amazon (US) affiliate program.

We spoke to Andraz from Zemanta a while back on the Technology.ie podcast. You can catch that interview here.

We’ve also been talking to Zemanta more recently about some of their upcoming services and all I can say is “wow!”. They’ve got some really cool things in the pipeline.

If you’re already using Zemanta, how do you find it?

If you’re a new user, what do you think?

Let us know via the comments!