Say goodbye to your boring, isolated, blah blog and say hello to Insights.
Insights is a WordPress plugin that allows to you
- Find and insert Flickr images
- Find and insert youtube videos
- Find and insert related links doing a Google search
- Find and insert related links to other blogs
- Find and insert related links to Wikipedia
- Find and insert related links elsewhere on your own blog
- Insert a Google map
- Find and insert links to related news
To be honest, when I first saw this plugin I thought it was a lot like Zemanta, which is very similar. Except that insight is about 10 times easier to use and less intrusive (sorry, Zemanta). Insights are not new, but not too well-known, either. After having used a few similar plugins, I have found that Insights works the best.
It saves time because it combines many of the things we all like to go into one easy, single field options panel that fits on our Edit Post screen. You don’t need to do anything except search, point, and click.
The best part (to me) is that if you uninstall the plugin, the content you embedded stays, unlike Zemanta which leaves a trail behind in your code! It’s clean. The plugin simply inserts whatever you want it to and doesn’t claim any extra real estate in your post by adding a self-serving link or graphic or anything like that.
No Excuses for Boring, Dry Blogs
Especially in the niche marketing area, blogs can get oh-so-boring. No pictures, no links to authority sites, nothing to make the page look like it’s not an auto-blog. You following? If you are into niche blogging please listen to this important message: people are getting smarter! A washed out page with 100 words and a gigantic ad in the sidebar is only going to cut it for so long. The movement is now toward building authority sites anyway, so unless you make your niche site spicy, kiss it goodbye!
Make it Easy for Guest Bloggers to Add Internal Links
After I installed Insights a thought occurred to me: using the Search My Blog function, guest bloggers can now easily add internal links to your blog content without having to hunt around for it. I encourage internal linking so now I have a way for them to do it easily!
Images & Videos
We all know now that sites with mixed media are better than sites without. Usually, people skip on the media because it is time-consuming. Not anymore. Insight will pull up Flickr images you can use as well as YouTube videos, and you can search for them right there in your Edit Post screen.
Solid Outgoing Links
Linking out adds a ton of value to any site. Many novice webmasters freak out at the thought of adding links, mistakenly assuming that people have all day to spend browsing their websites. The truth is that people, at some point, are going to leave your site. Do you want them to leave because you appear to be a traffic vacuum, not letting anyone out who enters in?
Blogs are not squeezed pages. If you treat them as such, no one is going to come back, and one of the key marketing cornerstones is repeated visits – repeat visits increases the likelihood of buying.
One of the ways to look a little less desperate and greedy is to start giving your readers a bit more information. Your post will seem much more authoritative if it connects to some high-quality sites that are related. Insights can find almost anything – you can use it to search Google, search only blogs, or to find related news. In a lengthy, substantial post that you want to stick around for a while, try including all three! If you are concerned about leaking page rank then make the links nofollow.
This is a great one. All you need is a Google Maps API key which can be received quickly and easily by going here. You will then be able to insert Google Maps into your posts. For an example of its use, I run a movie theater niche site, and I can use Insights to insert Google Maps for each of the theaters with ease now. I have tried other Google Maps plugins and none are as easy as this.
Insights’ book search feature is not good. Don’t use it. Not only does it not find books that it should find, but I also don’t even know where the source is coming from. If you’re going to add books, you are better off getting an Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble affiliate account and use their tools or plugins.
The other downside is that the plugin hasn’t been updated in the WordPress.org directory for just over a year. It works well (except for books) but this means that it’s likely that fixes aren’t going to come readily.
Is Insight Free?
How to Get It
When you’re logged into WordPress, go to Plugins > Add New > Search and type in “Insights.” At the time of this writing, it’s the very first one that comes up.