RoadAs another year begins most of us make plans for what lies ahead. I have no major plans myself as Im just going to keep doing what I was doing in 2012. Here’s the 5 main things I will be focusing on in 2013, I suggest you do the same.

1. Product Creation.
I have been stating the importance of creating your own products since 2004 and nothing has changed since then. If you truly want to be successful you simply must be creating your own products. Yes, you can make money in other areas such as affiliate marketing but if you create products of your own with an effective affiliate program you will have other people driving traffic to your offer. Behind every successful marketer is a collection of products they have created, the more products you create the more successful you will become.

I plan to release quite a few products this year just as I did last year.

2. List Building.
Everything you do online should work towards building your mailing list(s). This means having opt-in pages on your blogs, (I actually have 4 opt-in forms on my blog, can you find them all?) your sales pages, your affiliate pages and your thank you pages. Just about every single page you create should give the visitor the option to enter their name and email to connect with you.

Every day you put off building your mailing list is another day of wasted opportunity.

3. Funnels.
This is one of the biggest things I learned in 2012, product creation is not just about creating a product with an upsell or an OTO, it’s about building a comprehensive funnel. However, not only do you need to build a comprehensive funnel that makes your customers want more from you, but you also want to build a funnel that makes affiliates want to promote your products. When you create a product you should have a funnel planned for both affiliates and customers, a typical sales funnel will consist of:-

  • The main offer – Price low for maximum sales
  • A higher priced upsell – Usually an enhanced version of the main offer
  • A recurring upsell – Usually a monthly membership site
  • A backend offer – This can be a live webinar that offers coaching

If you get the funnel right you will have affiliates climbing over themselves to promote your offer and your customers begging to buy more from you.

So many people thought I was crazy to sell Simple Traffic Solutions for only $5 but they didn’t see the funnel I had in place. A funnel that has just under 1000 monthly paying members that will probably generate over a million in sales in 2013.

One thing I did with Simple Traffic Solutions what most marketers don’t was offer 50% commissions throughout the whole funnel, including the backend offer. This made the offer so appealing to affiliates they were coming to me to promote my offer.
You can check out the whole funnel here.
My plan is to build more funnels like this and to incorporate them into more of my launches in 2013. While all of the time rewarding affiliates for their efforts.

Remember, the more money your affiliates earn the more affiliates you will gain.

4. Relationships.
This is something a lot of people don’t focus on or tend to neglect. So many marketers operate online and all they think about is themselves. Remember that the connections you form are the building blocks to a successful business, you will need affiliates to help with launches, you will need help from other people from time to time but also remember that other marketers are building their businesses too, so be there for them when they need you because if you don’t you’ll find the online marketing world a very lonely place when people see you don’t reciprocate and choose to work with other marketers.

I have many plans for 2013 that involve working very closely with other marketers and my students, this is something that will never change.

5. Learning.
I will continue to learn more in 2013, I will continue to look for new trends, new methods and new ventures. I will continue to learn new things, try new tools and educate myself further. You need to realize that you need to continue to learn new skills, to evolve and move with the times because if you don’t you will get left behind. So keep learning and make yourself a wiser marketer because the more you learn the more you earn.

Most people will say ‘I can’t’ when all they have to do is learn. Never ever say you can’t when you have the biggest learning tool at your fingertips. The Internet.

What plans do you have for 2013? Feel free to share.

    60 replies to "5 Things You Must Focus on in 2013"

    • Carl Picot

      Hi John

      This is really good advice many thanks. I know that I get stuck trying to make everything ‘right’ instead of talking action sooner.

      I love the relationship but and also the funnels. … and yes product creation is always top of the list.

      Thanks for your help and I’ll hook up soon I hope.



    • Matt

      Hey John,

      Great info. I agree with you. This is where my focus is for this new year.


    • andrew stark

      Hi John

      When you are successful rinse and repeat, when you don’t get the results you want learn from your mistakes.

      Buy things you need rather than wasting time and money on salespages that promise things you think you want. My first task for 2013 is set up a funnel with buzzinar and use your bonus.


    • Rob Corrigan

      Hi John, a timely reminder of what we need to focus on in the New Year, my focus will be on all of the things that you mention, but I will be looking closely at building the funnel, something that all my stuff has lacked so far.

      Hoping the New Year will be a good one and a profitable one.

    • John Racine


      It is so easy to get “side-tracked” and “distracted” online this post was exactly what I needed to remind me of what truly is important in an online business. The funnel configuration you link to is also pretty damned awesome and I plan to use it for my products this year too.

      I have always been a fan of what you do and I plan to model your strategies a little more this year.

      Thank you and Happy New Year!

      John Racine

    • Phil

      Hi John,

      I think it’s important to focus one thing at a time. My goal 2013 is to build my main blog and get a huge email list. My smaller affiliate websites will have to wait because I think it’s more effective to create one authority site at a time.

      Relationship building is what I include in the backlinking next year 🙂



    • Gopal Iyer

      Thanks for what to focus on 2013. Every year I get side tracked. I know that I need to concentrate on “Product Creation” in 2013 in addition to the other 4 you mentioned. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Marc Milburn

      Hi John,

      Thanks for this great post, full of fantastic advice as usual.

      It is, of course, comforting to see that all of your five major focus points appear in my plans for 2013.

      My intention is:

      1) To release twelve front-end products

      2) To build a solid back-end funnel for my business which consists of a membership site (recurring income!) and higher-ticket coaching ($997 – $4,997);

      3) To add an extra 50,000 subscribers to my lists.

      Can’t wait to report back at the end of the year about how it’s gone!

      Thanks 🙂

      • John Thornhill

        I look forward to seeing your results Marc 🙂

        • Marc Milburn

          Thanks John! I have to say, you have been a HUGE influence in my IM career (especially as a fellow ‘Mackem’) and a big driving force. Always there to help where you can.

          Over the past three years, I’ve been able to make $1.2million online. My goal now is to make another $1million this year alone!

          I’ll keep you updated!

          • Barry Joyce

            Hi Marc, also as a fellow “Mackem” i Have to agree with you – I have recently joined John’s PTS course and have just completed week 4 ( I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and hopefully learn immensely from the PTS course and also learn from people like your good self

            All the best
            (Red & White Army)

            • Vance Sova

              Hey John, Marc and Barry,

              I’d like to know what Mackem is. I’ve never read or heard that word before. My guess is that it’s a name for a resident of a region but I could be completely wrong.


    • Jerry Paul

      Hi John,

      I was just thinking about what I should focus on for my business in 2013 and along comes your email! I am very glad I am a member of your Partnership To Success course which makes it so simple to focus on the five things you just posted here.

      I believe you have a gift for teaching and look forward to working with you in 2013 and quiting my day job!

    • Mike Graham

      Hi John. Thanks for another great post. Couldn’t agree with you more, starting with product creation. With the help of your PTS program 2012 saw my 1st product and my first real income online.
      Keep up the good work John and Happy New Year Mate


    • Dave ball

      Hi John great info,
      If only we had this information when starting out I think we would all be in a differant place.
      There are so many of us that do it wrong initially like myself and jump from one mentor to another but it’s safe to say that when you do find one that suits what you needs you should stay with them.
      Building relationships is where I am at and list building and hope to start making new products very shortly when I compete your course that I am so much enjoying .
      It’s great to hear a guru like yourself saying that you will continue to learn as I feel that it’s essential that with the IM niche it is continuing to evolve at an extremely rapid rate.

    • Mark Burrows

      Hi John

      Its great to see that if we follow along with you in 2013 we will all be in for a great ride.

      Ive learnt so much from you allready so cant wait for the education to continue.

      A great article as always.



    • Dave Greenland

      Hi John
      Great advice. It reminds me I need to focus more on the business side of things and not just playing around with too many different sites

    • Dean Thompson

      Hi John,

      2013 will be my first full calendar year online and I certainly want to make it count in terms of personal progress.

      The last 7 or 8 months have been a great learning curve for me, so the next 12 months should be fantastic.

      I have plans for 2013 but after reading this post I’ll be tweaking them slightly 🙂

      Happy New Year John.


    • Steven Kirk

      Hi John,

      Great post. I have recently created a product in the gaming niche and it has had a few sales so far and hopefully they will continue in 2013. I also plan to create a few other products.

      This post certainly helped me or convinced me to create some more products and hopefully can follow in John’s footsteps.

      Regards Steve

    • dave ball

      Meant to add in my last post, I have made a decision to turn off all updates that can make distractions and keep me from working. I used to find that Facebook and the likes would take up most of my time when I was online, so I only check it twice a day now.

    • Amanda Prior

      Hi John,

      Great post, thanks. I started building a list last year and hit my goal of having a 4 figure list by the end of the year. This years target is a five figure list.

      Going to build your other suggestions into my plan.

      Thanks and Happy New Year!

    • Chris & Lisa

      Hi John,

      You’re dead right about the ‘can’t do it’ attitude. Negative self-talk will end your IM career before it’s even started. And besides… learning new stuff is both fun and rewarding.


    • Jenny Wren

      another great post. I am way too easily sidetracked and involved in a lot of ventures. My goal is to complete at least two products this year, though I am quite far behind in the Partnership to Success. I hope to get back at it and get caught up or at least not get any further behind.

      Here’s to a ‘productive’ new year,

      Jenny Wren

    • Sergio Felix

      Wonderful post John, I am going to focus on the first three points since it’s where I’m actually lacking at.

      If you ever have the chance to answer, did it take you long to start creating your own stuff?

      I know how you’ve started in a car assembly line and I know you struggled at your first projects but after that I just know you became a huge internet marketer, how did that actually happened?

      Thanks in advance and I’ll check out the banned webinar, maybe the answer is hidden in there. 😉


    • Nigel Spence

      Thanks For The Great Advice John. I was just looking for the print button, I don’t happen to see one, it might be a good idea to install a print button WP Plugin here on your blog, there you go, me actually advising Mr John Thornhill, lol

      Love what you teach John, I have never been in such a better position, I’m really loving this, I have always felt that I was on my own and out on a limb, great to see so, so many positive people here.

      Couldn’t agree more, relationship marketing is extremely important along with your list building, looking forward to networking with all of you great guys in the very near future, this would really benefit us all, and like John says, it can only be a win, win situation.

      Kindest Regards,

      Nigel Spence ~ Sunny Skegness, Lincolnshire, UK

    • Stuart Turnbull

      Hi John

      Great advice as always!

      I definitely need to focus my efforts on building effective funnels, thanks for the reminder!

      All the best for 2013!


    • Katie

      Great list! I’m going to focus on product creation this year – namely, figuring out what my four months or so of IM experience has to offer to the community. Once I’ve got that nailed down, I’ll move into these other areas.

    • sam

      Thank so much John for your insight and desire to reach out by helping others. I also appreciate your close association with Omar Martin, my mentor and I’m most enthused and motivated as we enter the new year by looking forward to the upcoming EVS launch scheduled in a few short weeks.

      Here’s wishing you and your team healthy successes as together we all enter into the new year. It’s most assuring to know that ‘the masters’ are standing by to help as we ‘fledglings’ stumble sometimes along the way attempting to meet our own goals and success…

    • Kenneth C Young

      First: I would like to know if anyone has excellent PLR material that is helpful to all artist out there in promoting their art online.

      Second: Making your own products and having an opt-in form is great however for anyone who is really strapped for money that is a hard task to accomplish and where it takes time to build a list that money probably should have been used for the basics of life.

      Kenneth C Young

      • John Thornhill

        Hi Kenneth

        Firstly, have you tried searching Google for the PLR material you need?

        Secondly, I’m sorry but that’s just an excuse. You can create a product for very little cost, you can even do it 100% free if you are completely strapped for cash. You have a computer and an internet connection as you left a comment on this blog so you have the tools required, all you need on top of that is some time and discipline.


      • Omar Martin

        Kenneth, you’ve got your head paint wrong.

        This is a business, if you are “really strapped for money” and don’t have enough money to cover “the basics of life” then you are not yet in the proper position to build a business. You should be looking for a JOB to cover your necessities first.

        Secondly, building a business ANY BUSINESS requires a significant investment of both time and MONEY. It is foolish to think otherwise. Building an opt-in list is an integral part of any online business and will cost a monthly auto-responder fee. There is no way around it.

        Once you get your personal and basics of life in order THEN I would recommend that you seek to raise some business capital for your venture.

        There is no amount of “Great PLR” in the world that will solve these issues for you.


    • Kenny

      Thanks for the sharing your 2013 plans. This is definitely what I’ll be working on as well. want to over deliver on a low ticket entry and get at least a an upsell, membership. best wishes for a great year

    • Dave Kempster

      Hi John,
      I really appreciate hearing from you in this helpful friendly fashion.
      I am just 1 1/2 days into the 31-dayonemonthmentor program and I am excited.
      I have poured more money than I am prepared to admit into a vast assortment of “programs” promising the world with the sun as dessert.
      Your program is the first one that has showed a real promise for my success.

      Keep it up and I will too, of course.


    • Matt Morgan

      Hello John, how are you doing?

      Many people will have a burst of new ideas and strategies for 2013.

      They are key elements that people need to work on in order to expand their business.

      I wanted to chime in with some tips on each of these 5 areas:

      -Start with a basic ebook,and master this before moving on to something else
      -After selling your eboook move on to creating/selling video and audio versions of your products, or get others to create them for you if you can’t do it yourself.
      -Create a membership site, so that you can get some monthly revenue,
      -Keep on creating new products, and apply the stuff what works to previous products your new products
      -Your product will never be 100% complete, so don’t keep waiting until it is 100% perfect, or you are wasting valuable time by NOT releasing it.

      -Create a squeeze page, and offer a hot report to capture emails (the report doesn’t have to be very long)
      -Keep your squeeze page simple, don’t over complicate things
      -Tweak your squeeze page for the highest conversions
      -Drive targeted traffic to this squeeze page
      -When you build a list, start emailing them content, to build a relationship with them

      3. FUNNELS
      -Create some backend funnels which come after your front end.
      -Draw your funnels out on paper, so you have them visually in front of you, and can adapt ideas.
      -Don’t be greedy with your pricing, by making your first front end product an unaffordable price
      -Have levels of payment, from $7, to $17, to $27 etc.
      -Have some high end products in your funnel too, but make sure you provide value in these.

      -Build relationships with your list, by emailing them hot content
      -Build relationships with your affiliates, giving them new affiliate offers on your new products
      -Build JV relationships, with potential partners
      -Don’t neglect relationships with your non online friends, and family
      -Relationships take time to form, and not overnight!

      5. LEARNING
      -You are always learning day by day, everyday is a school day
      -You will learn new ways to do new tasks, and efficient ways all the time, where old methods will be rejected
      -You can do U-turns on stuff you thought you knew, but have found new knowledge
      -Learn new methods to drive traffic and test them all for yourself too
      -Keep in mind that what works for somebody will not necessary work for you

      Good luck everybody for 2013.

      and Happy New Year John

      Matt Morgan

    • Steven Stuart

      John, great advice as always. I have already made it my mission this year to get back to working on the basics. I have unsubscribed to a lot of lists, leaving only the ones that are important to me, so I can spend my time being productive You are so right about continuing to learn, as I feel like I should constantly learn more about marketing and move forward, or get left behind.
      Building new relationships is something I definitely want to focus on more this year, as well as providing more relevant content for the readers of my blog. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head.

    • Rahul Patgaonkar

      Really good info.These are the pillars of Internet Marketing

      Love this stuff John



    • Nanette Saylor

      Thanks John, for sharing your clear, concise and focused plan for 2013. It’s so easy for many of us watching the success of internet marketers like yourself to imagine that the model is so complex, when really if we all dedicated ourselves to staying focused on these 5 areas, we’d all be singing your praises for sure.
      Of course, the challenge is in eliminating all the noise and distractions, and in trusting that all the effort will pay off, and in believing that we’re on the right track.

      All the best in 2013 and beyond–

    • Barry Joyce

      Hi John, great advice

      For me, I think number 5 on your post is the most important at this early stage of my PTS course (week 4)

      Of course I will learn something everyday from your course and I am looking forward to building my blog – with number 5 a continual personal development, I need to continue building my blog and hopefully with some clever methods, such as your Traffic Solutions 2,3,4 in time, will start to fall into place

      All the Best


    • Wayne (Joe) Evans

      Hi John,

      Very wise words indeed. I would have put them in that order too… I did deliberate about relationships, but felt that funnels are important to deliver on those relationships!

      Good luck in 2013!



    • Jo

      Very good advice John. I am a student of yours at 1 Month Mentor and I am just about completing that course. My biggest problem is tech stuff ( I don’t understand that as I have plumbed in bathroom suites etc) anyway that’s my biggest problem and no money to buy extra help so I am following along on your course and so far doing ok. So my goal right now is to get the plr up and sorted and make more similar sites so I can earn some money and buy in extra help if I can’t do it. Just to say thanks for the way you set out your course, I have other courses but yours is the 1 learned most off.


    • Brian Fedor

      Wow, John, when I saw this it was like you were reading my mind. These are the exact five points that I know I need to continue focusing on.

      I really enjoyed reading your take on these topics and I can tell that other people did as well. In fact, I walked away with even more great information by just reading the comments!

      Can you recommend someone who can do a good job of reviewing/critiquing some sales copy for my squeeze page?

      Looking forward to receiving more notifications about your excellent blog posts!

    • Bill Keidan

      What can one say? More great advice from a Master of Internet Marketing.

    • vijay

      It is a well known fact that taking time out to write your goals/key priorities for the year ahead helps to keep you focussed on the journey ahead, especially when you hit the inevitable ‘road block’or two. Also I find that once the broader direction of travel has been identified then it becomes much easier to set out detailed road maps for each priority.

      As a fairly new member of P2S I will certainly be guided by the five areas of focus that you have set out and I look forward to using the advice as I progress through the Partnership Course.

      Best wishes for the year ahead.



    • Carole Marek

      Hi John,

      Happy New Year to you!

      I have been creating a new product this morning and have just got stuck! So I decided to read your post as a way of freeing my creativity and I’m so glad that I did because of your excellent advice. I especially like what you say about opt-in boxes. Thank you.

    • Winchel

      Hi John

      Thanks for the great advice my focus will be on all the things you said.

      Also thanks to Omar Martin

      Happy New year


    • iFaith

      Happy New Year 2013 John and all!

      A good list you have here – John!

      It is true that to keep our momentum from last year into the new year, we need to keep on moving forward with what we were doing and improve and maximize on them.

      Continuing to learn and applying what we learn to reap its rewards is why most of us are in this IM business in the first place. And the journey has its challenges as we all know… but the adventure is exciting and worth it!

      It is not an easy thing to do as most who go into internet marketing or start their own online businesses fail, but with persistence and continued work in the right direction… it is still possible and doable to achieve success.

      The journey of a thousand miles to its final destination begins with the first step and another and another in the right direction.

      Wishing you John, your continual success… and to all, a Happy New Year and the best of good luck on all your goals for the rest of 2013 and beyond.

      Faith @PLRMaseryBlog

    • Paul Steinberg

      Happy New Year John, And All Students in Our Partnership Group,
      Great Tips. I’m focusing on “relationships” which is fairly new to me. I think this is so important to be a success in our group. I will help others with their launches as best I can, and also get to know the individual behind the launch.
      May 2013 bring us all together to sell Our Products!
      Paul Steinberg

    • Lisa Rothstein

      The best thing about knowing what to focus on is giving yourself permission NOT to focus on all the other stuff! I am WAAAY behind on Partnership to Success modules but I’m looking to catch up with the most important points and connect with others in the group this year — and YOU John!
      Happy New Year and prosperity to all in 2013

    • zora

      Hey John,
      Thank for this step to help guide the path in 2013.Great tips and trick to use in our new year.Keep up the good work.


    • Cindy

      Holy Cow, does everything you do turn out to be the most comprehensive stuff on the internet??!!

      Greatest place I have ever learned from, and believe me I have learned a lot! Great Stuff, you can just call me “copycat” as I will be following you like a shadow on a sunny day.

      Thanks for such great stuff!

      You are going to get use to seeing me around for quite a while :O)

    • Ray Boreham

      Brilliant stuff, John, and each point so vital to the process of building a successful online business. I’m getting my feet wet with product creation, but intend to put more time, energy and focus into that and building my list of actual buyers rather than freebie-seekers, which is pretty much what I have right now.

      That then leads on to the funnel building, which seems to have been the major advance for you this year and which is probably the main component needed, if set up properly, to achieving long-term residual income, and, ultimately financial freedom.

      I’m working on my goals for 2013, which will include elements of what you discuss here.

      All the best for 2013,

    • Galina St George

      Hello John,

      I am in the process of planning my year, and your post is very timely. It will help me to make my business plans around the areas you have talked about. Product creation, list building, funnels, developing relationships, and learning are all going to be very high on my list of priorities this year. Thank you for being such an inspiration, and I am thoroughly enjoying the P2S course. My aim is to make you proud this year as my mentor.

      Warm wishes,


    • Jessie Dudley

      Thanks these are tremendous recommendation/
      great for goal settings.

    • Joe Standley

      Hi John

      You have an awesome blog with great information and YES, I bought one of your products. Just wanted to say that your time and effort is appreciated. You are one of the people that has inspired me to do something instead of sitting there!

      I’m going to be interviewing someone that gets a million hits a month to his site and I don’t even have my own done yet. I hope that I’m able to do something with that information to start moving forward to accomplish what you have done!

      Great work!

      Take Care

    • Chuck

      Thank you, John for the action plan. A few things I’d like to add, and it’s more to do with mindset. It’s what I’ve planned to make sure I follow. If it helps anyone else, great. I’d love to share success this year with everyone of John’s followers. So, here goes…

      1) Don’t ignore the obvious. In the TV show CHEERS, Norm said, “Year after year I sit on this bar stool wondering why my wife is losing interest in me.”

      2) Remember your physics lessons, NOTHING HAPPENS UNTIL SOMETHING MOVES. Face the fact that there is no magic button, and internet marketing takes work, time and patience.

      3) Get rid of your distractions. For example, work on your projects for hours instead of reading emails. Its better to run out of time and not get to your mail instead of not being able to work on what’s going to make you money.

      4) Don’t fall for the flashy item syndrome. Pick one project and work it. Once it’s under way, THEN pick up another. Before, I would end up with 5 different plans, get overwhelmed and not work on any of them. That’s not how to do it!

      Thank you for letting me voice this. I have made a promise to myself to succeed this year. I know it revolves mostly around mastering one major habit, and that is:

      5) FOCUS. We all have a tendency to over-complicate things when it’s actually very easy. It’s like the game of chess. Chess rules are simple, you can learn them in a matter of a couple hours. Getting good at it takes a lifetime.

      Let’s all meet later this year and toast to our successes.

    • […] read a post by John Thornhill about  the things he will be focusing on in 2013 and the post is here for all to see . Johns  top 5 thing to stay focused on […]

    • Michael Gorman

      Hello John,
      as a result of coming to your Blog recently, I got it together to build my own blog. So thanks for the inspiration mate, I am in the early stages with only 3 articles posted and a front page but each week I hope to build on it. Your articles are of immense value, and offer so much motivation, really appreciated John.

    • boga dhami

      Hi john
      read this article,full of useful information as usual.Joined two of your programs.Your blog is A1.Keep the good work going as you give very honest advise.all the best for 2013
      boga dhami

    • Bill Keidan

      Everything I read of yours and even much of your commentators makes great sense. I took a couple of Marc Milburn’s courses which also helped to prime the pump, but to read his own tribute to you just reinforces the fact that your training is really the mother lode from which many other people have picked up valuable nuggets. It has taken me a long time to get here, so this year I feel your methods are the ones that really work and the only ones that I need.

    • Gordon Smith

      Hi John,

      Great post, I was especially interested in what you said about the sales funnel “build a comprehensive funnel that makes your customers want more from you, but you also want to build a funnel that makes affiliates want to promote your products.”
      Having a funnel that encourages customers to continue into the funnel by having related content that progresses towards a definite end result for your customer.
      That’s my focus for this year.
      Thanks for the help you have given me this year through “One Month Mentor” and “Simple Traffic Solutions” The consequence of helping many people to succeed brings the natural result of increasing your own success.

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