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Here's my #1 rule for Internet success… and this is one I obsess over. This is the one that gives you a license to print money. Follow this rule, and keep following this rule… and you're going to have success.

I'd love to hear what you think (and what your next questions are), so scroll down and leave a comment below…

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74 Replies to “The #1 Rule For Building Your Online Business”

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Very powerful and inspiring video. I think many internet marketers lose this number key element to print money on demand as you said, too much focusing on other things that don’t create that relationship with people.
    Thanks Jeff it completeley confirmed my thinking of how to make things online.
    P.S hope to get to know you in Denver 🙂

  2. Simple, sweet and to the point – The way it should be.
    Congratulations Jeff!

  3. James Spanke


    Awesome content Jeff. Your list is your gold and you nourish it by providing value…be helpful.

  4. Right on Jeff! I’ve been building my TRIBE since my investment into PLF in 2011. By continuing to build, and investing in a relationship with these people, they will take care of your needs.

    I know I told you about my first launch that propelled me back onto my feet out after a lay off and having to get on food stamps and take a pizza delivery job to provide for my family. I just finished my second launch on Friday, and will have some pretty crushing numbers to report to you shortly – can’t wait to tell you more about what my TRIBE came through with this time around.

  5. Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for helping me keep the proper focus with this video. It is so easy to get overwhelmed with the mile-long “to-do” list and lose sight of priorities.

    Sincere appreciation from a fellow Coloradoan,


  6. I’m just in the starting stages with my website and remember how great it was getting that first subscriber. I’ve only got 16 at the moment but it encourages me in that if they signed up it means others will too.

    So I know this is a game of time and effort


  7. Always enjoy listening to your blog posts Jeff…they provide great value, always respect the viewers time, and you always make your point in such a straight-forward, “guy next door” type of way. Thanks! Even listening to “refresher” type of content is great to reinforce the basics…appreciate it!

  8. Thanks Jeff – A great reminder to cut through the chaos and to focus on the core activity that will build my business – list building. Thanks again. H.

  9. Thanks for the great pep talk Jeff!
    I just created our free value-packed bribe this week. Now onto getting some subscribers…


  10. I love this message. It is so easy to overlook this. It’s about people, and relating to your prospects and your list as real people. And I really like the advice of thinking about them in terms of their hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations. Excellent.

  11. Hi Jeff, I’ve been absolutely enjoying PLF lessons!
    Building the list and relationship, I’ll definitely focus on them.
    Thank you for always sharing valuable insights.

  12. Hi, Jeff–great content as usual, with plenty of value. Thanks for PLF Live, and your ongoing support! Design is done on new website, and it should be up and running in a couple of weeks, thanks to you and your ongoing inspiration.

  13. I liked how you mentioned addressing the fears, aspirations of your subscribers in order to have a responsive list. I think this is what I’m missing as my list is growing but not very responsive even though I send new video content (not offers) 2x/week. Please elaborate on your strategies. Thx.

  14. Wow thanks for saying this! This just reinforced i am going the right way building my list and the relationship with a list 🙂

  15. Jeff – I love how you switch up the background of your videos. Everything with you is so casual and “real”. After years of following your instruction, I was lucky enough be in the room when you showed up at Experts Academy last September. Your stories about Brendon were hilarious.

    I have recently re-devoted myself to my list, I added 4 autoresponders and they’re working! New subscribers are acting on my call to actions. I sent an e-mail last Sunday to almost 900 people on my list, taking your advice from a recent video. I asked them if they could have a meal with me what would be their top 2 questions. People responded and said they were amazed I opened myself up to that.

    18 years — wow. Your kids grew up with Dad working on his own schedule. Pretty cool. What’s does your wife think about it? You hardly mention her. Will she ever get on the camera with you?

    • @Amy: We actually shot this video in a really nice setting outside… but there was a little too much wind and it messed up the sound, so we ended up shooting it again inside.

      Yes, my kids have grown up with the business, and with both my wife and I at home. Interesting that you mention my kids – because my son Daniel is my videographer, and he shot this video.

      I would say that it’s unlikely you’ll see Mary on camera – she’s even more of an introvert than I am. But right now I’m in the final edits of my upcoming book… and there will be some more glimpses into my life into my life in the book.

  16. Thanks Jeff. Great content! I appreciate the way you break things done to the bare essentials for success.

  17. Focusing is sometimes hard to do, thank you for the most important (#1) reason for being in business and the encouragement……

  18. Another great post Jeff! I agree that a list is really our best asset for online businesses! The thing that strikes me is when people don’t put value in building a list…they put all of the value in BUILDING THE RELATIONSHIP and/or SELLING THE CUSTOMER but then they just LET THEM GO!!! It’s like it has been said many times before: “It is MUCH EASIER to sell to someone a SECOND time than the FIRST TIME!”. You have already done the work of getting people to believe in you and your product…why not bring them along for the ride and let them in on EVERYTHING you come up with in the future?! This is a great post and I hope that people heed your words! START BUILDING THAT LIST NOW! 🙂

    Take Care,
    Rob Anderson

  19. Hello Jeff, thanks for this video. I have still a small list but they are fidele, as family or near friends.I have begun another blog on another theme, but i invite them to read the other blog and give me their opinion. i also began a Facebook page for the other blog : longeviteheureuse ( in French) and invited my first list to visit the very first pages…
    I will invite them too for the launch of longeviteheureuse.I hope one day i will have a list as important as yours….;-)).
    I have to be patient.i do thank you a lot to be near us, helping us .With my gratitude

  20. Chris Hopkins


    Thank you Jeff. I hope to be up and running with my own stuff shortly. From everything I have seen and heard and read over the past couple of months about being online, your words of wisdom about building a list and the relationship with the list will be forefront in my mind now… Thanks again.

  21. Thanks Jeff, for those wonderful words of wisdom. List building is the best way to insulate your business from all the other variables in the market. I’ve know this for many years, but it’s the one thing I struggle with the most.

  22. Great advice and wisdom as always. You give a good clear example of focusing on what is important rather than on what may seem urgent or more enjoyable.

  23. Thanks Jeff so many times we see especially USA sites going hard out to sell using the same formula. Great to hear you talking to people . Humans are the only animal that values money but many times we miss this boat. i believe the first thing in business is add value for free as humans the first breath was given to us as we breath in and the rest is up to us here is the first lesson in business.. Thanks again

  24. Thanks Jeff, there is no doubt personal relationships and communication with people is the number #1 priority….

    My offline tennis business is all about that….so I had to remind myself to duplicate that online as well….its easy to forget when you don’t SEE people , but now video is so much easier I love it!!

    Thanks again for the simple reminder….:) I love simplicity!!

  25. Jeff you get straight to the basic foundation and essentials, namely, list and engagement to my list. I have a list that’s grown to close to 10,000 names. I aim to grow the list using a newsletter next since to date all I have done is email using aweber (or in your language profollow). I recently dropped 1SC for Synergyx and with Paul Galloway’s help I plan on doing a JV launch next. I am looking for a full time technical person to handle my backroom of Kajabi, Aweber, Synergyx and Paypal. Yes, I am slowly making money especially since I recently switched to doing a membership site TRP-REI CLUB which stands for Think Rich PInoy Real Estate Investment Club. All because you persisted in sharing your wisdom. And never stopped. Thanks Jeff Walker. This Filipino owes you.

  26. Thanks Jeff, I’m glad to hear this in such simple terms. I’ve got about 1600 people on my list now… Not bad!

  27. Jade Campbell


    Thanks for being the real deal Jeff,
    I couldn’t agree more with your advice, am simply so over unscrupulous marketers who talk to their subscribers like trash if they don’t buy the latest deal from them.

    The point is they have forgotten that behind that email IS A REAL PERSON, and they do themselves harm by forgetting that.

    No one wants to buy from someone who attacks their integrity, their seriousness and work ethic, it’s scandalous abuse of a captive audience.

    I guess some develop a sense of self importance that the end justifies the means to get each and every sale – sad really.

    I welcome the day when the internet is truly regulated, and the cowboys will have to pull their heads in!

  28. Hey Jeff- Thanks for all of the great information over the last year, or so. I’ve learned a ton from you and it has help me in my business, dramatically. I can’t wait for PLF to be open again.

  29. Hey, Jeff. I want(ed) my first product to reflect or at least revolve around what “the people” want. I do astrology. My survey, sent on April 11th, has received no replies! Not one. Where, really, do I start? If my friends aren’t replying or forwarding, to whom do I send my survey? Should I print it out and stand on a street corner? what?

  30. Great advice (as always) Jeff. I made the mistake of relying on too many of the factors you metioned in your video in my first online business. It nearly went under before I finally took matters into my own hands and made a list. Thanks again – Bill

    I miss Durango – Snowdown. Mountain biking the Test Track. French toast at Oscars. Skiing Purgatory/DMR. etc.

  31. Jean-Francois


    Yes Jeff, providing value is what it’s all about and that’s exactly what you’ve done in this video. Thanks for your honesty and genuine approach, the only way to keep subscribers and get your emails read. You wouldn’t have lasted 18 years in this business any other way! (as you clearly said it yourself).
    Kindest to you my friend,

  32. Jeff, Do you have a recommendation for a step by step, day by day program that teaches list building? Have you ever recorded each action you took to build a new list?

  33. As always I appreciate you and the advice you so generously give. You are the BEST at representing true authentic “beingness”. Thanks Jeff

  34. ken ca|houn


    Another helpful video; thanks … I like your videos because they’re helpful and either reinforce stuff I know I should do, but haven’t done much lately, or share new tips. Your point #2 about relationship w/list is critical, I think of it all like a conversation, storytelling; what’s the story you’re telling your list? Content/pitch mix is like air/fuel in a carburetor, to fine tune.

    Also btw great job on your new plf video, watched that, the ‘add value in each video’ vs problem/agitate/solve=buy distinctions’ old model, was a very helpful strategy; thanks. if you’re ever in colorado springs lunch is on me 🙂 and no biz talk… thanks for doing a video blog the right way, you’re a solid role model for doing it right -kc

  35. hey Jeff,

    Quick question…Do you have your entire list within the database of your email auto responder, or do you have another master backup list?

    Thanks sir.

  36. Good stuff Jeff!

    I can’t believe how many years I didn’t work at building a list. It makes me sick just thinking about how many leads I just threw away after one click.

    Do you recommend having more than one list (auto responder) service?


  37. arline warwick


    Yes, the relationship is everything. I’m just beginning, working on my 3 videos and have to remember that to look natural the number 1 thing to focus on is not myself but how I can help my audience…forget the ego! right?

  38. Great video blog post, Jeff. Thank you!

    Every few weeks my free Positive Woman Tip series (52 auto-responders) I have a CTA to hit Reply and tell me the answer to a question I ask. I let them know I will write back personally.

    I’ve had the most amazing email conversations with the people behind those email addresses! It’s a chat (not free coaching) and I learn so much from them and really feel much more connected to my email community.

    A small % hit reply so it isn’t time-consuming but they always have the opportunity and it feels good make it available to everyone. 🙂

  39. It’s becoming more clear to me that I MUST start compiling my list now. But then what? Thank you for this great video!

  40. Jeff, I saw a question posed on Google plus that asked; “What is your definition of Social Media”? My answer and I was the only one to say this, “Relationships”. I’m not an internet marketer I’m a Gorilla Advertiser/Sign Spinner, it is my relationships that grows my business they are my list so to speak.If the net went down, if I continue building my relationships with my friends on the streets my company will continue to grow also but it’s getting to the time to build the team that will get us where we are going, I want to thank you I already see your passion and help will also are now part of that team Sir.
    The Cool Kat #ThatSignSpinner taking Tucson for a spin, one smile at a time. “A smile is a sign, a sign of a relationship”.

  41. Pingback: misty

  42. Hi Jeff,

    I saw your video on some other affiliate blog that just started a series on list building. I was running six figures a month doing media buys on google adwords, up until March 30th. Then they changed their policies, and now it’s a real nightmare to get creatives approved consistently as the google employees themselves don’t have a clue what is OK to approve, what is NOT. So one day a creative might be approved, the next rejected. To make a long story short, it killed our business over night because we relied on big volume to push the numbers we did. But, since they kept denying/disapproving banner ads that adhere to their new policies – our accounts all got limited, which means we cannot do the volume we used to do because the system blocks it.

    Anyway, my story is somewhat common because for years I was doing SEO, then when google went nuts with their endless algo updates (which caused big SEO ‘gurus’ to quit, and also big sites like SEOMOZ become just MOZ) so I thought if I join them (google) (and pay them money) I will be safe for a long, long time. WRONG! It lasted a couple of months, then came the policy update which really messed stuff up. So yes, even if you pay for advertising, you still rely on a 3rd party for your business success. You are so right when you talk about this in your video above, that is why I decided to post a comment here.

    I am getting old and I am tired of someone else killing my business over night. That is why I begun looking for answers, what is something that’s online and google, facebook, whatever can’t affect it. That is how I arrived back at lists. As you said, the only real asset (Haha, your words really resonated with what I believe in!)

    So about 2 weeks ago I started my first venture into list building. I decided to pick a topic that’s close at heart, a topic I know a lot about. And created my first lead generating blog, where I am providing value in terms of interesting articles, pictures, and videos. I am giving away a free ebook in exchange for people’s email address. This is a very niche market, but there’s already ample ways to monetize it over and over again. I plan to do weekly newsletters, where I will talk about related news, new trends, photos, videos, and cool products. Since the audience always wants to buy the cool stuff in this market.

    Being a newbie, I have some concerns questions – I’d appreciate your feedback on.

    1) I am approaching building these micro niche lists with a system, which can effectively be rinsed and repeated. Although at the moment I am still perfecting the first site, and didn’t begin making more like it. My only concern is, how do you engage your audience properly when you have multiple lists?? Do you outsource it, and have the writers/workers follow a formula for the newsletter?

    2) What is better, many special micro niche lists or one mega list?

    3) From lists, one must venture into creating their own product to become full circle – as I’ve see you have done as well — when does one make the leap from building and marketing to their list to create their own product, how do you know when is the right time?


  43. Great advice…it seems like almost every successful Internet Marketer says the same thing. It sounds cliche, but “the money is in the list.”

    I wish I had started building my list sooner…I hope people listen to your advice and start building their list NOW if they haven’t already!

  44. Hello Jeff, I’m from southern Brazil, and would love to understand your posts and especially your videos, drinking his wisdom, but few people here, as I do not speak and do not understand the English language. It would be asking too much to have an option subtitled and translated into Brazilian Portuguese, and who knows for Latinos in Spanish?
    Some of their attention, to further clarify, I’m using Google translator to write to you and you understand English. A big hug Jeff.
    André Ruppenthal – Paved / RS – Brazil

  45. I love the length of your videos. Quick and to the point. I have heard this info. before but quick reminders and hearing it again gets me motivated.
    Thanks. Kristie L Foreman

  46. Hey Jeff, Thank you for the inspiration… and the continued clarity you provide. Much appreciated.

  47. Hi Jeff,
    A quick question from a “newbie”; do you recommend a product launch for a small niche market? Is it worth the effort or should I wait until I build up my list?

  48. Hi Jeff,

    Your videos make good sense and they are very easy to understand. There are many products out there that can be sold for someone else but your relationship is what counts the most in developing your list. If you follow your passion in a niche that you develop authority in to provide value to others they will follow you and subscribe to your offering.

    But … how do you keep up with answering each and every comment that outnumbers time available to you each and every day?

    I look forward to absorbing your recent book … ‘Launch’

  49. Hi Jeff,

    Your videos make good sense and they are very easy to understand. There are many products out there that can be sold for someone else but your relationship is what counts the most in developing your list. If you follow your passion in a niche that you develop authority in to provide value to others they will follow you and subscribe to your offering.

    But … how do you keep up with answering each and every comment that outnumbers time available to you each and every day?

    I look forward to absorbing your recent book … ‘Launch’

  50. Jeff, thank you for your amazing ability to clearly convey what needs to be done, without all the fluff and for reinforcing what I already learned (just a bit) but lost my way in the sea of shiny objects (formulas, recipes, how-to’s that really were not meaty or worth my time). It’s so easy to get distracted, and you keep it real and even though I’ve only discovered you in the past few days, I’m so grateful that I did. I truly feel this is going to be a turning point in my business. I thoroughly enjoyed your I Love Marketing interview!

    And though I’m in Los Angeles now, I lived in Durango, many many moons ago, as a little girl, on a trout and buffalo farm, and my mama worked at the Diamond Belle.

    Can’t wait to read your book!


  51. Bob Wheelright


    Hi Jeff,
    That is a great way to motivate new people like me, I will be working with a coach in developing my list and hopefully making money soon. I am not interested in reinventing the wheel, I just want to have a well balanced and effective wheel as provided from all tha successful people. I will be successful if I do what I am told and stay on track.
    Thank you, Bob W.

  52. Wow! Never heard of you before, never heard about the LIST before, and so today I became enlightened. Thanks for being so refreshing and for sharing your savy in internet business . I will continue to seek your wisdom out.

  53. Thanks, Jeff.

    I’m new to online marketing — in the process of creating my first online course — and I really find this kind of “back to basics” useful.

  54. It’s easy to get wrapped up in social media and, as you point out, other platforms that you don’t have control over. “Your list is the one asset that no one can take away from you.” I think this hits the nail on the head. Thanks for this food for thought. I’m excited about putting more focus back on my list!

  55. Thanks for this. Also I really enjoyed your Launch book as well. Do you have any thoughts on how someone with a small but growing following can monetize without seeming to pushy and driving away followers? What’s the perfect mix of good content and invasive advertising?

  56. Powerful and encouraging speech. At least I will start building the list, before to go on #2 rule. Thanks.

  57. Thx Jeff! This about just changed my whole outlook on doing business online 🙂

  58. thanks Jeff! I love what you said about writing subject lines, writing conversationally as if you’re writing to a personal friend. that makes so much sense! And it’s naturally a lot easier to do it that way than trying to plan the super hyper keyword perfect subject line or whatever. I’m going to relax and go write my list a fun email now. Have a great day! -Steve

  59. Sounds interesting I am going to surely try your List managing advise.

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