How to Make 2013 Your Year

Do Affirmations and Positive Thinking Work??

I was looking through my journals from 2007 and I was a goal-writing maniac. The funny (or depressing) thing about reading back through that stuff is that I was making pretty lofty goals for the timeframes I was giving myself, and I wasn’t hitting any of them.

I was also doing a lot of affirmation stuff and physically writing down affirmations everyday… such as, “I make $10k a month online…”

But… the interesting thing is, a lot of my affirmations that I was saying back then, and most of my big goals that I set for myself back then I have now achieved, and even surpassed.

If you read this post, then you know about my “goal pictures”. I actually haven’t updated that for a long time and I was looking back through it and it turns out I’ve bought every single one of my goal pictures in the last year… I didn’t even realize it… down to the exact model of car that I was opening up and looking at every morning for months…

While I definitely don’t believe in the “law of attraction” at face value, of course money doesn’t just come to you just because you want it, there is definitely something to consciously spending time thinking about and visualizing yourself achieving your goals.

Having said all that, I work a lot on my business. It takes both.

An Interesting Email From a Reader…

Along these same lines, but on a different note, I got an insightful email from a reader a couple week ago that basically asked:

“It seems like everything you try seems to work and do well… what are the skills that you attribute that to?”

The first thing that came to my mind was my 2-3 years of “failure” where I worked and worked on my first website writing content and trying different ideas and nothing happened.

The quick answer to his question though, is sales, marketing, & copywriting skills. Maybe not so much the actual skill of writing up a sales page, but more of just having an understanding of the sales process, and what makes a potential customer want to buy something.

This comes into play whether you’re writing a product review as an affiliate or the sales page for your own product.

Hey… This Post is Called “How to Make 2013 Your Year”… So Tell Me

You’re right. I guess this will be easiest to put in list format. Here are some of the things I think are the most worthwhile to focus on in the coming year:

  • Your Marketing Skills: Sales, conversion, copywriting… it’s essentially the same thing. Being able to get in the mind of a potential customer and speak like they think and position a product as something that will help them solve a problem is the most fundamental skill  to making your online business a success. This is what allows me to have an ebook outsourced by a great writer on a certain topic, and then create the “marketing” stuff for it, AKA anything the customer can read to make their decision, and have it be a success even though I’m not an expert per se on that exact topic. It should also go without saying that the product is actually high quality and will actually help someone interested in that topic. I’m working on a course module specifically on copywriting and the marketing skills I’m talking about that I’ll add to StraybloggerTraining sometime early next year.
  • Your Own Paid Product(s): Your own products can be a membership site, a video course, an ebook. I hate to toot my own horn some more, but my Niche Video Tycoon-type sites still churn out consistent sales every day. It’s a solid system… you create a course or ebook for your niche, then setup articles & Youtube videos around the topic that send traffic to your sales page(it also builds you email lists at the same time). The Niche Video Tycoon course is also a part of StraybloggerTraining. If you’re apprehensive about creating your own product or ebook… GET OVER IT. You become someone worth listening to when you decide you’re someone worth listening to.
  • Email lists: Like I just mentioned, I have a bunch of little sites that get anywhere from 1-10 optins a day, and some of them I totally ignore/forget about. One list just recently hit 1000 subscribers and I haven’t sent a promotion to it in over a year. I wrote 3 emails around a subtopic and then picked a product to recommend on email #3, and sent the emails to that list over the course of a week. It did a little over $300 in commissions. Not huge, but awesome at the same time. Building email lists ties nicely in with having your own products… but you don’t have to. A blog with a lot of content can build a valuable list over time as well.
  • Productivity/Time Management: Chances are if you’re reading this, you already know enough about internet marketing to build a very successful site/business over the next year… the main reason you haven’t yet is because of productivity or time management problems… And you know it. When it comes to working for yourself, you have to own your time. You can’t hold out for weekends or ideal 6-hour blocks of time, because those just aren’t going to happen in the real world. You have to be able to put in a productive 30 minute work session when you have the chance, as well as figure out how to get 10-20 hours of real production out of yourself each week. I’m also working on a set of productivity videos for StraybloggerTraining that I’m hoping to have all done in the next 6 weeks or so.
  • Kindle ebook(s): I know I already mentioned your own product or an ebook, but I wanted to mention this specifically. I’ve published several ebooks on the Kindle marketplace over the last year, and once a book is selling well, it is hands down the most passive form of online income I have in my business. I think everyone should give it a try, but at the same time make it a book worth buying if you’re going to do it. The first group of participants in the Kindle Publishing Workshop that we’ve been doing for the last month are getting their first books published and it’s going great. I’m hoping to launch another session of the workshop this month… probably towards the end. A lot of the participants have mentioned that the best part of the workshop is the built-in accountability which pushed them to actually take action and get their first book done.
  • A Long-Term Authority Site: One of the best long-term models is obviously an authority site. No matter what Google does SEO-wise, if you have a site with a lot of content that people like, your traffic and income will continue to grow.

There you have it… Start thinking about some of this stuff and some of your own goals you want to accomplish next year.

A Little Giveaway: I haven’t done this in awhile, so I’m going to now… If you ‘like’ this post on Facebook below, and then leave a comment about what you should have done better in 2012 and/or what you plan on accomplishing in 2013, you’ll have a chance of winning a $50 Amazon Gift Card. The winner will be selected randomly from the qualifying comments this Sunday night at 11:59pm, Dec. 9th.

Limited Offer: Name: When I was just starting to figure things out, I did an interview where I walked through exactly what was working for me.

You can get this entire interview completely free, and you'll learn a lot from it.

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About The Author


Nate is a blogger, fitness enthusiast, and designer.


  • Wayne

    Reply Reply December 3, 2012

    In 2012 I should have spent my time focusing on getting one website to be a success rather than spreading myself to thin. In 2013 I plan on narrowing my focus and concentrate doing one project at a time well.

  • Helen Page

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    Great post, Nate. My goal for 2013 is to stay out of the hospital so I can work on my stuff!!!!

  • Mike

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    Great post. I’ve been known to be a jack of all trades and it has helped at certain times; however I think it is time to focus on thing until it starts to truly bring in that passive income.
    I love kindle and will focus on building that income to allow me to return back to school and replace my wifes income so she can what do she wants to do!.

    Warmest Regards

  • Neill

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    Ah yes – Focus – A problem shared by many IMers I’m sure. In the past year I’ve been bit by Pandas and Penguins but fortunately have two sites on pg1 in Yahoo and Bing that bring in a few (very few) bux now and then. Squidoo lens has been up for a month but has had zero hits from Google. Very frustrating. I’d really like to get something going that brings in consistent money.

  • Mike FD

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    Well Nate, I have been focussing and have a two tier management structure.

    Tier 1. The development of an authority site in the area of fitness and lifestyle. This is a longer term project than the tier 2 project.

    Tier 2. Is a good operation using a review site for Amazon, for low competition items, that require almost no back linking so the focus is on content, and also turning this site into an Authority site.

    If anything, I will need to spend more time on my Fitness site in 2013 to give it some “weight”. This is because the review site is a one product review/page and easier to manage 🙂 .

  • Steve Sharp

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    What I haven’t done enough of in 2012 and doing now going forward is reading, reading and more reading to stay on top of what is happening. Along with that comes sharing and knowing what is working and what is no longer acceptable. Stay current in 2013 and continue to grow while living as balanced a life as possible.

  • All in all, I agree with the time management piece as the key to success online. I’ve fallen victim to the “shiny object syndrome” on more than one occasion in 2012.

    For me, 2013 will be about list building and product creation. I’ve recently created a “mastermind group” with like minded individuals I feel can assist me in brainstorming ideas as well as implementing them. I look forward to a successful product launch at some point this year — 3rd QTR is my current goal.

  • Raphael Grupico

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    In 2013 I need to learn to trim the fat and let go of things that are not working for me. I also need to continue to focus on the areas of IM that ARE producing income for me.

    Very happy to say I am about to publish my first e-book to the Amazon Kindle store – I also agree that the group webinars and accountability required certainly enabled me to achieve this goal.

  • Aleshia Green

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    I plan to settle down and FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS. I will work on building list for the first time and developing products that sell. I am in the middle of developing a social media management business to run in the mean time. I will incorporate my products and list within my business as leverage.

  • Joel Spurny

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    I will be getting some work on some Local Business dealing with QR codes and filling out a local businesses website this week, this is something I have put off for way too long. So now I will be starting on this before the New Year, I think this will be just the start and I will crank it up for 2013.

    Thanks Nate for the great post!

  • Cathy

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    It took me the first 6 months of 2012 to figure out a plan of what I wanted to do. I’m now working on that plan for 2013 this month so I will be more productive through out the whole year.

  • CS

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    I definitely must do the time management skills better! As you mention in the post, I could have had so much more done & I know it, so now it’s time to do something about it 🙂

    Here’s to a successful 2013 for everyone!

  • Matson Magleby

    Reply Reply December 4, 2012

    Great stuff Nate! In 2013 I need to spend less time LEARNing and more time DOing. I have already learned (from you) everything I need to do to be successful, now I just need to do it!

  • Alan

    Reply Reply December 5, 2012

    Hey Nate,

    2012 basically sucked. My wife was out of work until last month and all of 2011 as well. Somehow I worked every waking moment to survive.
    Now we are getting our heads above water and I am getting more focused than ever before.

    After finishing your Kindle class and publishing my first Kindle book, I feel confident 2013 is gonna Rock!
    The course made work harder and showed me I have the potential to write copy, sell and build some sites.

    What I want to do in the next year? Tell my boss “I quit” pure and simple. It will be mine! Oh yes it will!

    Thanks for all your help Nate.

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply December 5, 2012

    Hey Nate,

    Again awesome article. What do you think of loss-aversion tactics to get things done? For example, gives you the option to donate to an anticharity if you dont get milestones done. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks

  • Gerry

    Reply Reply December 5, 2012

    Hey Nate
    I should have done a lot more in order to achieve my 2012 goals.

    Listing and prioritizing them will be my focus for 2013.

  • HT Lee

    Reply Reply January 11, 2013

    Hi Nate, that’s for your insights which always bring great value.

    2012 was more of a year of experimentation for me (not to say that I’ve stop experimenting), but 2013 is gonna be more of putting things into sharper focus. 2012 was a year of casting the net wide, 2013 is to do more on what’s working, ultimately for what matters most.

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