Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blogger Pages - finally!

We've been hinting at these for a while, and we were this close to getting Pages out before the holidays... but at long last they're here. To say that most Blogger users wanted stand-alone pages on their blogs would be an understatement.

I created a couple pages tonight - in addition to the obvious About Me (a good idea for anyone stumbling on your blog from a search, helps them know a bit about you) and Contact Me (more on that in a minute), I created an "Ask me anything" page.

Inspired by my friend Annie, who just created a page at Tumblr which lets visitors submit a question that Annie or her husband Josh can answer. I went ahead and hacked together a variation of that idea, using Blogger's Pages and Google Docs forms. Docs Forms are one of my favorite Google features that nobody uses - here's what I did:

Step 1: Go to Google Docs, click "Create | Form":

Step 2: Create a simple form:

Step 3: Grab the form's embed code:

Step 4: Paste that into your blog post (make sure to click "Edit HTML" first):

End result? A simple version of Annie's "ask me anything" which is now part of my blog's navigation (thanks to the Pages gadget):

Special bonus tip: turn on Docs notification rules so you're notified whenever people fill out the form:

About that Contact Me page: in addition to listing my e-mail address, I threw a Google Voice call widget on the page, something I've been meaning to add to the blog forever. I love that I can not only record a custom greeting for calls from the widget ("Thanks for calling from my blog...") but that I can direct the calls to voicemail. While I genuinely look forward to hearing from my readers, I don't want to wear out my Nexus One too quickly. :)

Speaking of Voice, I've got a few invites left. Leave me a comment if you'd like one.


  1. Thank you. I am going to do the same. Do you know when Blogger is going to enable static pages again?

  2. Nice work! I will need to update the Blogger template for my site I expect..

  3. So I wrote an 'about' page ... 4 times ... and deleted them. But .. ugh ... coming soon! Great stuff Rick. This was long overdue (and may help those who wish to ... due the FTC disclosure thing?!)

  4. AWESOME! Thank you! I will mess around with this over the weekend.

  5. Ramiro - they were re-enabled last night around 9:30pm.

  6. Awesome addition. just made a static subscribe page :)

  7. I am looking for this kind of solution for my blog


  8. It's available by going to and clicking on "Edit Posts | Pages".

  9. Rick, this is terrific. I've been meaning to re-invest in my blog, and this is going to make it a lot easier. I also like the fact that you're experimenting with stuff like "contact me" and "ask me anything." I use both Google Voice and Docs/Forms, but am sure that I haven't gotten as much out of them as I could. I'll be curious to know what value you and your readers get out of these new features on tins.

  10. I would like Blogger to separate css and html. Many other blogging services has this implemented.

  11. This is so cool. I have been trying to figure out a way to do this for some time. Thanks for sharing. And I had never heard of Google Voice. I'm off to check that out!
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  12. Hi Rick,
    I added pages to my blog, but the comment feature does not work. I get error message bX-8v4wg4 when I click on the comment link. I see on Blogger Help that other people are having the same problem. I don't see any answers so I thought maybe you could help.

  13. I love the "Ask Me Anything" idea! I've added it to my blog, but am curious about one thing: is there a way to show all the responses below the form? What's the point of a Q&A unless the questions & answers can be seen?!

    Thank you!!

  14. @Amanda Several people are asking questions that contain personal info (their e-mail address, blog URL, etc.), and a number are asking questions that aren't, for one reason or another, appropriate to share publicly.

    But you could share the results - Docs gives you the ability to either (a) show results once people have submitted the form, (b) publish the results as HTML (which you could then embed on the page containing the form), or both.