Google Docs to Ghost

Hi everyone! I’m Greg, a developer and big fan of Ghost. I built a free and open-source theme a little while back called Newsliner.

Recently I’ve been working on a Google Docs Add-on that directly integrates with Ghost. Currently, the only way I’m aware of to link Google Docs and Ghost is through Zapier, which has a few drawbacks:

  • Need a Zapier account which might get expensive depending on your total usage
  • Takes some initial configuration that isn’t super-intuitive
  • Limited to New posts, can’t update Existing posts
  • Difficult to update meta data fields

With my add-on, you will have full control over all the meta data fields that you have in Ghost, directly from a sidebar in Google Docs:

It will also be super simple to set-up with no separate account required. You will just have to enter your Ghost Admin API Key, API URL and a license key from me directly in the Add-on’s settings:

Once it is ready, I plan to charge $5 / month or $50 / year, but as a special pre-order deal I’m giving one-year access for $25. (no questions asked refund if you aren’t satisfied once you try it)

You can find more details here.

Also, just so you know, I’m building this as part of my social business, Epilocal, which builds technology for local news - so all proceeds go towards making that mission sustainable.

I hope you will check it out and let me know your thoughts. Feel free to ask me any questions here!

-Greg Dickens

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So, just to “clarify”, this enables us to write a document in Google Docs and have that document posted in Ghost as a Post or Page?

If so, does it add and upload images automatically?

Yep exactly that - you have two options: Update Post or New Post. (so far I’ve only built for Posts, but I can easily add Pages as well now that you mention it) If you want to Update a post, you can search for it by slug and get all of the existing meta data into Google Docs first. While if you are creating a New Post it starts with all the meta data fields blank.

Then once you have configured the meta data and written your post, you press submit and it is sent to Ghost either as a Draft or Published. (depending on what you choose)

Images are all automatically uploaded. (it also checks if the same image has already been uploaded recently) Currently I have it configured so the first image in a document is automatically set as the Featured Image and excluded from the Post body, but I’m thinking of making this a customizable option.

Thanks for the quick response, appreciate it.

Yes, I would recommend a setting for adding the first image as a featured image (I am one of those who rarely use the featured image on the post itself, but I do use it on the archive).

Being able to post posts and pages would be beneficial.

That it checks if the image has been uploaded / added already is great.

while you’re on it, can you not make a image gallery foe Ghost??! :wink:

Still cannot believe it’s missing a image gallery where we can choose between already uploaded images…

haha, fair enough, I’ll leave the gallery to the core team though… they just did the dashboard, so maybe that will come soon! :wink:

Thanks for all those points - really helpful!!

*** Update - this is now live in the Google Workspace Marketplace ***

You can check it out here:

Since it’s live, I’ve taken down the pre-order offer but you can now sign-up for a 7 day free trial.

I’m really interested to get feedback, so if you give me some after trying it out, I’ll DM you a coupon code and give the old 50% pre-order offer.

No point in a gallery for images, this isn’t WordPress. It’s designed for lightweight, minimal, distraction free content creation. You just add images from Unsplash and go about your day. I don’t see why WordPress even has a gallery, it’s practically pointless and it generates so much bloat on the database. So, I’m glad Ghost doesn’t have it.

As for this add-on, brilliant. I don’t use Google Docs, I wouldn’t be opposed to using one for Apple Pages though. I still think Ulysses is a better tool than either.

While I get what you mean, I completely disagree when it comes to all of those who write rich content such as tutorials and what not.

Especially now with Ghost 4 and Stripe and stuff. Creating content that’s educational or otherwise interesting enough so that readers are willing to pay for it and not having easy access to images?

Understanding content is easier for most with images.

Beside, there are plenty of ways of lazy loading and manipulating the DOM, not creating what I assume you mean by “bloat”.

Sorry, what I meant by bloat was database bloat, not document bloat. I don’t know, with tutorials, what would be made easier by having a gallery? What’s the difference between just uploading the images?

Database “bloat” is non existent I would assume. If it’s not, why would Ghost allow for uploading images?

A gallery is useful for accessing already uploaded images, images you might want to re-use at a later stage.

Kevin (Ghost staff) pointed at the snippet feature while I pointed to having XXX or however many snippets for accessing images is not very user friendly.

What’s the use-case of this product? I guess am trying to understand under what circumstances would I want to move away from the beautiful (markdown enabled) editor that’s available out of the box.

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Main use-case is for sites with multiple contributors. You can use Google Docs to track changes and make edits, then use the add-on to push the final post.

Probably not as interesting for people who are running a site on their own, although I have come across people who don’t love the Ghost editor - so it also gives another option to people depending on their taste.

In my opinion, the Ghost editor is very good. It has basic limitations and a few bugs, but overall very nice.

I always use google docs to ghost process. Especially when I have to do some extra edits in text or image like flipping text or image. Because I know that How to flip an image in google docs but don’t know how to do it on ghost editor. However, we don’t need it.