I mostly sell my items on etsy so no blog for me. However the website I have allows me to write newsletters which can be helpful but I have yet to see anything. I'm actually thinking of getting rid of my website because its not generating as many sales as I'd hope. I've had it for two years now and my sales have come through word of mouth and friends. So I decided I'm just going to stick with etsy and write blogs to promote that way. A blog can be anything which is why its so awesome. Think about writing about your soaps, preparation, getting kids involved. I've realized a lot of people like reading about these things because it makes them feel more connected to not only your products but who you are. Just my opinion of course.
On websites... I use to use the term "we" and when I decided to change it to "I" (it really was only me...) My sells did better...I don't think people want the illusion of a large Co, thats why they are buying handmade...
But I also blog about different topics just to gain interest from others.
The reason why I went with typepad vs a free one is how it's set up. Yes there is a monthly fee to use it but they do offer a free 14 day trial.
I like the fact I can have a catagory list as you can see on the left side of the page. So readers don't have to search though all my posts just to read the topic they are interested in.
I went with the 8.95 package one, not the cheapest but not the most expensive either. But so far i have gotten quite a few hits because of it.
just thought i'd share.
EDITED TO ADD
There is also a special page that allows you to see the number of views.
This comes in the form of
* lifetime page views
* average per day
* in the past 7 days
* today since midnight GMT
then it also tells you where the person found your link to view. Such as if you put the link on your web site or if it was from a google search etc...... So that's pretty neat as well. You know where people are finding the links to your page. So it can be posted more often !!!
I started one, but found i updated it alot up front, but then would go 6 months without touching it. I think a blog is great if you keep it fresh, but going to a blog and seeing the most recent post was over a year old makes your site look stale. I instead opted to just post articles on my site until i have the time/motivation to keep a blog current.