We came up with a basic solution for that, a couple years ago. Last year, I packaged the procedure.
- Set "Show" to "0 posts".
- Add a static HTML / Text gadget.
- Tweak the template for the new gadget, to display only on Home page.
Today, I realised that Blogger recently gave us this option, in a far simpler solution, last month - but not so many people noticed it.
The "Custom Redirects" feature is just what you need, to create a static home page.
- Setup a Static Page. Use the dashboard Pages wizard, and make a "New page".
- Use the "Custom Redirects" dashboard wizard, and redirect from the Home page to the new Static page.
- Work on the static home page, and make it attractive.
I setup a test blog - Nitecruzr Redirected Home Page Test, and added a Static page - "Static Home Page".
Having setup the static page, I redirected the Home page to the static page, using the "Search preferences" - "Custom Redirects" feature.
- From: /
- To: /p/static-home-page.html
- Permanent: Yes
Edit "Custom Redirects".
- Enter "From:" as "/".
- Enter "To:" as "/p/static-home-page.html".
- Select "Permanent".
- Click the "Save" link.
- Hit the "Save changes" button.
And, that is it. You can see my test blog, as a basic demonstration.
Note that just as easily as redirecting the home page to any static page, you can redirect to any dynamic page (aka a "post"). So, you can pin a post to the main page, using Custom Redirects.
Once the "Home" page / tab is static, you can index the posts using any sidebar gadget - such as an Archive or Label index gadget. Or, you can index posts, as if they were pages.
- Publish your posts to a given label - I used "Posts".
- Add a label search entry, as a new "external link", to "Configure Page List".
Also, a static home page does not have to be just text. You can add a gadget, as part of any static page.
Now, anybody can have a blog with a static home page, in 10 minutes (don't overlook steps #3 and #4, above - as I did, the first time). Click here, for more examples.
(Update 2012/06/30): See The Video, for a live demonstration.
(Update 2015): See here, for more possibilities, and variations.