8 Blog and Business Lessons I've Learned In 2016 + How to Take Action to Grow Your Business in 2017 - MintSwift

8 Blog and Business Lessons I’ve Learned In 2016 + How to Take Action to Grow Your Business in 2017

Happy 2017 my Minties! Can you believe that MintSwift will be one-year-old in March?! I must be honest with you, despite the fact that I was able to start and grow my first business (for which I’m extremely grateful for!), 2016 wasn’t my best year, in fact it was the worst year of my life due to a lot of personal issues, but on New Year’s Eve, I promised myself to fix them this year and made them my top priority. This is going to be my year!

When I launched my business in March 2016, I had no idea, I’d go that far! But here I am, writing a blog post about the 8 blog and business lessons I’ve learned in 2016 and how to take action to grow your business in 2017. 2016 has been a rollercoaster for MintSwift, but I learnt a lot along the way. I want to address this blog post to any of you who want to start their blog this year, or already have a business but it isn’t growing the way you’d like to. You have a chance to learn from my own mistakes and thoughts so here we go!

I want to thank you for following along with MintSwift in 2016 and I hope you’ll coming back here in 2017.

This post contains affiliate links marked with (*) for products I recommend. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!



You probably noticed that I love Pinterest and there’s an important reason for that! After the second month of blogging, Pinterest became my largest source of traffic & it’s constantly growing.

After 30 days of using my Pinterest strategies, I grew my Pinterest visibility by 500%! Since implementing all the strategies I’m sharing on the blog, I’ve quadrupled my page views and they are consistently growing every month.

Also, I’ve built and grown my email list from scratch which doubles monthly and all of that thanks to using Pinterest strategically on autopilot. If you want to truly grow your traffic and build your list effectively and as quick as possible, Pinterest should be your main focus, just don’t worry about other platforms.



Scrap other platforms and focus on the ONE that actually works FOR you. You won’t have to come up with 100 social posts every day! If you have no idea where to start, browse my Pinterest category on the blog and start using Pinterest strategically and learn how to set it up to work for you while you sleep.



Since August, I’ve been working really hard on my first e-course Up Your Pinterest Game and it’s way more stressful than I thought. I had to move the launch date many times, had a lot of issues along the way, but let’s leave it for another post.

I’ve learned the hard way, that stress is my worst enemy. I’ve been having a severe allergy for almost 2 months and stress is one of the reasons. Since then, I try to work less and take more breaks and already see some improvements.

In 2016, I neglected both my physical and mental health. I felt really bad when I went off the computer to go to the store, to the gym or even to make a dinner. I thought I have to work 24h to make my business work and totally forgot that my business won’t work if I’m not healthy both physically and mentally.



Don’t overload yourself with work. Don’t forget to take short breaks, between tasks or even taking few days/week off. Try to go more outside to get some fresh air and clear your mind. Don’t feel bad about taking breaks and remember to take care of yourself first! Give yourself some slack from time to time! It’s good to plan your day in advance, so you can set time for work and for breaks.




As I’ve mentioned in a post about branding your Pinterest profile, it only takes 2.6 seconds to make the first impression online and according to studies, visitors spend 6.48 seconds to look at your logo. That’s why, having a well-designed branding and web design is essential to make a good first impression, to be remembered, sell products and services and be seen as trustworthy and professional. Your brand identity should represent you, your business values, missions and attract your ideal audience.

Your designs should be cohesive in order to create a consistent experience for your audience. If you feel comfortable with DIY your brand design, go ahead and do it or hire the professional like you’d do if your dishwasher is broken.



Don’t underestimate the power of first impression and the importance of well-designed branding and web design. You don’t want the bad design that turns off people and cost you money. If you choose the DIY route, make sure you’re not making those top 10 design mistakes. If you need help with your brand and website design, feel free to contact me about my services



I plan to write an entire blog post about my experience with copycats. I feel like having your work copied is, unfortunately, inevitable, especially in the online world. It DOESN’T mean that it’s ok and that you SHOULDN’T do something about it, though.

If you had your work or even your entire business copied, you’re not alone! Some copycats might think you’ll feel flattered that they copied you, which is an absurd! When I got my free course copied, I was frustrated, sad, and disappointed.



If you spot a copycat, contact them directly on email, first. Take screenshots or another kind of evidence to show them if they deny. Remember, someone who copied you will always be far behind you.



As I’ve mentioned in this post, you might fall to the net of 6-figures bloggers and think that the only way to be successful is to earn thousands of dollars every month.

This year definitely taught me that success isn’t just numbers. I personally care more about helping people rather than how many dollars I’ve earned. I try to enjoy the small wins and not necessarily the number of followers, subscribers or page views.

I already feel successful, to be able to be my own boss, help other business owners with my blog, courses and services. Don’t get me wrong, earning 6-figures a month would be awesome, but it doesn’t equal success to me.



Enjoy the little wins and don’t expect to earn thousands of dollars overnight. Think what success means to YOU, not to some other blogger you admire. You might end up feeling successful sooner than you think.



It’s obvious that being your own boss is connected with your well-being, frame of mind and your personal life. If you’re not happy with your life outside of work, you might not do your job efficiently and the way you want it to. That’s why is important to do more things that makes you happy inside and outside your job.



There are probably some aspect of your work that you really love and some of them you wish you haven’t had to do. Try to do at least one thing that makes you happy a day, doesn’t matter if it’s a personal project, eating ice cream or going to the movies. Take care of your happiness before you jump into work!




For over 2 years, I had a pleasure to work with 50+ clients to help them build their brand identity and to be honest, not every project went the way it supposed to. I realised that the good communication with a client is essential in any project and without that, you (and your client) will end up frustrated and disappointed.



Be transparent, clear and specific about your process, offerings, mention many times what is included in the price. Ask a lot of questions and if your client missed some of them in the previous email, don’t hesitate to ask them again.



I noticed the misconception, that if you invest in expensive business tools, success will come sooner. One of my business motto it to see what others do and do it my way, so I always like to bunk the myths that you can’t do it or that without some tool.

For example, I don’t use expensive LeadPages for my subscription boxes, popups and I was able to design my own Thank you pages using Visual Composer which is already build in my theme and all my popups and landing pages are custom and fit my brand. I don’t use fancy email marketing like Infusionsoft and still be able to grow my list with less expensive MailChimp*.



Before you invest in a tool that you barely afford, do some research or try to get the same results with other tools which might be right in front of you.

These are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in 2016. I hope this post will motivate you to start your own business or help you see things that you haven’t seen yet. I’ll certainly go back to this post when I have a bad day


What did you learn in 2016 that will help you grow your blog and business in 2017?

xo Adrianna

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Ambar Miller

    I only just started blogging and I’m focusing all my energy onto Pinterest. I’ll have to check out your course!

    1. Yay, I saw you signed up for my course, welcome Ambar 😉 It’s so good to hear that you’re about to utilise Pinterest right from the start of your blog. I hope you’ll enjoy the course and feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding Pinterest after PR 😉

  2. Coleen

    i’m a tools gal so i appreciate the advice to spend carefully. ????????$30/month here and there can really add up! right now the only tools i’m paying for are coschedule and adobe stock images. i paid a one time fee for thrive landing pages and my mailchimp is the free account still but i’m tempted daily to buy something new!

    1. I’m glad you found this advice helpful Coleen 😉 I strongly believe that you don’t need a tremendous budget to grow your business, but I know it might be tempting to purchase for example the tools that your favourite blogger uses because it seems like only expensive tools help them grown their business

  3. Alee

    What a great list! I’m in my second month of blogging and Pinterest is my largest source of traffic as well! I’ve still got a ways to go, but I’m seeing my blog grow everyday from the magically powers of Pinterest. 😛
    Love your blog by the way. 🙂
    Have a great day!
    Alee | The Beautified Life

    1. Aww thank you Alee 😉 Yay! I’m so happy for you! Pinterest is awesome, isn’t it?! I hope it will still work its magic for your blog 😉

  4. Nupur

    These are great tips. I am bookmarking this helpful post to create an action plan for my blog. I need to work with Pinterest very soon. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Thank you so much, Nupur! Working on Pinterest is definitely a great way to create a strong foundation for your blog. I’m glad I could help you 😉

  5. Joanna Kay

    I loved these! Especially lesson 5 and 6. This new year I want to focus more on celebrating the little wins!

    1. Thank you so much, Joanna! That’s so great. I think celebrating the little wins is so important and helps you move forward and not to think you haven’t accomplished anything 😉

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