As a Typepad blogger, you have access to an ever-growing catalog of built-in features that make blogging with us easy and effective. But that's not all! Typepad also plays well with other services, allowing you to add some nifty bells and whistles to your blog. Over the next six weeks, we'll introduce you to some of our favorite third-party services, making it even easier for you to grow a loyal, engaged audience. Let's get started!
One of the best things about blogging is that it offers you a chance to communicate with people that you may never reach otherwise. There are a ton of ways you can interact with your readers - comments on your blog, Facebook messages, Twitter exchanges. But if you just want some quick feedback about your blog, your business, or a new project, you may not want to sift through emails and comments to get to the good stuff. This is where a third party survey service like SurveyMonkey can be very handy.
To get started, visit the SurveyMonkey site and click the sign up link from the main page. There are free and paid options. The free option offers a lot of features and is a good option if you just want to check things out and create simple surveys for your blog. Once you're registered, click on the Create Survey button at the top of your home page. There are a lot of options for creating a survey. You can create your own from scratch or use their templates. The interface is straight forward and they offer lots of documentation to guide you along the way.
Once you have your survey set up, click Collect Responses and choose Website Collector. This will allow you to embed the survey directly on your blog.
On the next page, choose Embedded Survey and this will take you to a page where you can set the size for your survey widget. If you'd like to embed the survey in your blog's sidebar, we suggest making the widget the smallest width. If you'd like to show the survey on a blog post or Page, the best size will depend on the width that's set for the main content column for your blog. In most cases, 500-600 pixels should do the trick.
After saving your settings, click on Install to access the code for your survey widget. You don't need to do anything to the code itself, just copy it for the next step.
If you're adding the survey to your blog's sidebar, just go to Blogs > Design > Content and use the Embed your own HTML module. You'll simply paste the code into the module, save, and drag the module where you'd like it to show in the sidebar. We have a full overview of adding code this way in our Knowledge Base.
The survey widget will look like this once it's embedded in the sidebar:
If you'd like to include the survey widget in a post or Page, simply click on the HTML tab in Compose and then choose Convert Line Breaks. Paste your code into the post body, include any other content you want to go along with the widget and then Publish without clicking back to the Rich Text editor. This will prevent any issues with the survey code interacting with the rich text functions. We've included a short survey that you can fill out at the end of this post so you can see how it works.