Commenting Karma: How One Comment Led To Major Exposure

By Jessie Holeva, Trend Hungry

I've always thought commenting on other blogs was beneficial. I've gotten some more traffic thanks to my practice of letting other bloggers know I'm digging their content and a lot of these bloggers have returned the favor on my site. Commenting has also bettered my Alexa ranking (the more sites linking to you, the better). But, one comment I left on Refinery 29 got me more than a spike in traffic. It got me and my blog into – wait for it – The Wall Street Journal.

Now, I know I'm not the only blogger out there with a penchant for great writing, a lot of us bloggers started blogging because we appreciate the written form, heck I majored in it. The Wall Street Journal is my inner journalism student's dream and to get a mention thanks to my love of fashion, well that's just icing on the cake!

So here's how it went down. About a month ago I received an email from the style columnist of The Wall Street Journal inquiring about a comment I wrote in regards to Coach switching up their style and going back to a classic design sans logos. As a budget fashion blogger, I think logos look overstated and just tacky.

My comment read: “Like this strategy. I rarely wear anything with the label all over it. So 90's/early 2000's. www.trendhungry.com”

That quick email led to a phone call (my hands shaking), dishing about my thrift shop Coach treasure ($14), and talking up my blog (how could I resist?).

A few weeks later, my name is in print and so is my blog's. When I left that quick comment four months ago, I never dreamt it would lead to such major exposure.

As a blogger, your opinion is everything. Share it. We all frequent a slew of blogs. It inspires us and almost every time you read a post, you feel something. If you love that DIY lucite clutch, comment. That blogger will be super excited that you appreciate what they're putting out there. Then bam, you could be on their radar. It's commenting karma and here are a few rules sure to bring good karma to your blog:

 

  • DO leave nice, genuine comments.
  • DON'T be mean and nasty. If you don't like a blog, move on. Not everyone will like your site either, but negative energy isn't necessary.
  • DO, link it back to you. I always include a link back to me. If I didn't, I wouldn't have had this opportunity.
  • DON'T have your comments simply sound like you're trying to promote yourself. That's not a complimentary look on you and will come off as insincere.

 

So, do you believe in commenting karma? Have you made any blogger friends through the art of comments? Share your commenting karma stories, big & small, we wanna hear 'em! Start your good karma and leave a comment.

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83 Responses

  1. Sarah

    That’s fantastic….and I HAD to comment on this article after reading πŸ˜‰
    Congrats on WSJ!

    Reply
  2. Beeswonderland

    Wow!This is so inspiring!Yes,I believe in “commenting karma”-I met a lot of fellow bloggers and discovered a loooot of amazing blogs by returning back comments.It’s not The Wall Street Journal,but hey!;)
    xx
    B.
    http://www.beeswonderland.com/

    Reply
  3. Hannah Hayes (@HeroineChicGirl)

    I always believe in commenting karma, but ONLY when the comment is true, legit and heartfelt. I have received many comments back and therefore readers on my blog this way. Most of the time, they’ve appreciated my genuine comment so much they are just as nice and we’ve become friends. I don’t comment unless I have truly have something good, funny or real to say.

    Reply
  4. Chedva

    That is such an amazing story! I admit I could be better about commenting, but commenting on some blogs regularly resulted in friendships I now cherish.

    Reply
  5. Aves Gry

    I do believe in commenting karma and I have actually found some pretty great blogs from the comments. Comments with more thought (that shows they actually read or look) are always the ones to catch my attention.

    Reply
  6. Emily Jenny

    Wow this is a once in a lifetime story! Truly a miracle but I am almost ALWAYS commenting on blogs and have not yet been published in the WSJ haha. Perhaps one day but I continue to do so because first of all its fun to hop from one blog to the next and see the chain of bloggers attached to one another and secondly I like to give feedback and receive just as much feedback!

    So check out my blog and comment to let me know what you think!

    http://www.stilettobeats.com

    xo
    Emily Jenny

    Reply
  7. Liya

    Wow, that goes a long way! I did have nice talks with blogger from comment we would sometimes chat on Twitter or emails. A year back or so I remembered I was lusting over AA and was bummed out they don’t have a store here as they were giving out their lookbooks.nu collab book and they emailed me & sent some my way for me & my friends!(not expected!) Plus they just open an online store just for my country this year! but woah major exposure ! Congrats! I believe companies value their future audience opinions or even future.workers or clients! πŸ™‚

    http://www.thenuliya.blogspot.com

    Reply
  8. Melissa

    I totally believe in commenting karma – I’ve had some great things come my way from leaving comments – including a cup of coffee with my photography idol and paying work! Leave something thoughtful or constructive or interesting and us bloggers love it! WSJ! That’s so awesome for you πŸ™‚

    Reply
  9. Tishiannae

    I truly believe in commenting karma! I even visit blogs who leave sweet comments on other people’s blogs. It’s a great way to network as well. I love your story and I hope I have that much luck soon πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your articale and I totally agree about the logos being tacky, haha. Cheers!

    tishiannae.blogspot.com

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    Totally agree with you on the Coach logo thing πŸ™‚

    As a blogger, I love when people leave me comments. So I try to do the same for them. In fact one of my goals was to leave 10 (sincere!) comments on other blogs per day, but I’ve fallen far short of this.

    Oh, and this isn’t exactly comment karma, but I recently received the saddest/most gratifying comment ever. A woman left a comment on a DIY project of mine saying she used to be an avid crafter, but hadn’t been into it since her husband died. She said my project got her excited about it again and she was looking forward to making it for her daughter. So unexpectedly sad, but hopefully good for her (and my karma).

    Reply
  11. Cheryl

    Congratulations on the WSJ! I always try to make sincere, thoughtful comments when I am lead to say something. But I also comment on a post when I have a similar post or point of view, and link it back to mine. Sometimes I wonder if that seems pushy at times; it’s a balance and I always want to be polite while putting myself out there. Thanks for the advice!

    Reply
  12. Ally

    That’s an awesome instance. However, if I am on blogger commenting on a blog post, I do not leave my link. My name is clickable and leads directly to my blog. There’s no point to leaving your link on Blogger. However, this is just my opinion. People can do whatever they want. If the comment is well thought out and not “cute! *link*” then it doesn’t bother me.

    Reply
  13. moiminnie

    Haha I just had to comment here after reading, it’d be rude not to! A very inspiring text indeed! At times I feel lazy to comment but if I’m genuinely amazed by the content or have to disagree, I always leave feedback. Some people appreciate a constructive critique, some people don’t. Either way, it costs nothing to write a line or two and you can gain pretty much everything, judging from your story!
    http://www.moiminnie.blogspot.com
    xx

    Reply
  14. Rachel

    Oh, I totally agree with this post, and I’m really surprised that someone had not pointed this out sooner. I would hazard a guess about 70% of my traffic comes from, or originally came from comments I have made on other peoples sites. Beyond this, I have got to know who are now IRL some of my best friends through commenting on each others blogs! I’m moving to Los Angeles from London next month, and I know a grand total of two people in the city, both I have connected with through our blogs – it is because of commenting I won’t be arriving in a totally new city & country alone!

    Reply
  15. Sarah's Real Life

    That is so cool! Nothing quite this amazing has happened to me by commenting, but I do get plenty of traffic because of commenting. I try to be very conscious of not being one of those “Cute outfit, now look at mine and enter my giveaway, etc.” people. It’s so obvious when people are only commenting to get traffic, and I don’t want to be one of those people. Even on my favorite blogs, if I don’t love what I see that particular day, I don’t say anything. You should only comment when you truly have something interesting/constructive/funny to say. Those kinds of comments let the blogger know you’re being genuine AND let potential visitors to your blog know that you’re worth reading! (I know this was one of the author’s points, but just wanted to elaborate.)

    Sarah’s Real Life <–hey look, I'm interesting! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  16. Maya B

    That’s so great to hear! I always try to leave comments when I see a great post, not always though as I don’t want to be a spammer. I always appreciate feedback and comments myself so why not brighten others peoples day by doing the same! Great idea to leave your blog with it, at first I was reluctant as I don’t want to look like I’m just promoting but after all if the right persons see your comments it could lead to great things.
    Yeah I just think you can tell when comments are true and those are the best!
    Maya from http://www.archistas.com

    Reply
  17. Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    Commenting on other blogs that I adore is probably my biggest source of traffic. I have gained many followers from it, have seen my percent of returning visitors go up, and that makes me happy to know that people like my blog so much they are coming back to it. I have made a few blogging friends who continually comment on my new posts and vice versa.
    I do agree that you shouldn’t sound just like you are trying to promote yourself. I’ve had several comments that have nothing to do with my post at all. Like I post a lookbook and someone comment “Love your outfit!”. It really annoys me because they are strictly doing it for self-promotion, and don’t even care enough to find out what your post is about. At least have it relate.

    xx lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

    Reply
  18. Sam

    Definitely a believer in commenting karma, and I wish people commented more. Even a quick (genuine) compliment means a lot!

    Reply
  19. Brooke

    What an inspiring contribution. The littlest things seem to have the biggest impacts.
    xx
    thestyleplanner.com

    Reply
  20. sahra

    DEFINITELY believe in comment Karma! When I first started blogging I understood that people needed to know about my blog, and I did that by reading and commenting on MANY. It’s the best tool to use!

    XO Sahra
    EffortlessCool

    Reply
  21. Miss Mellalina

    Wow! That’s a crazy story! I guess it’s an inspiration that literally anyone has a chance to make it. It all just depends on…well…karma I guess!

    Facebook.com/MissMellalina

    Reply
  22. Irina

    Great post, totally support your idea!
    I have a similar success story.
    I frequented a group on a social network about fashion where people could post their looks and other could comment on them, and that’s what I did. I always wrote what I thought, if I liked an outfit I said so, if I didn’t – I’d say that too and explain why. My comments weren’t always sweet but the controversy created even more interest.
    I realized there was an opportunity here for me and became a personal shopper. A lot of my customers come from that social network and they contact me and shop with me because of my comments.

    As a result, I created my own website for shopping assistance and now aside from shopping for others, I share photos of New York department stores and boutiques in my blog at http://www.brandnamesus.com/blog.html

    All this because I wasn’t afraid to speak my mind.
    Be honest, sincere and share what you think, it will take you places!

    Reply
  23. Jade

    Congrats on that!! Just from posting a comment – WOW! I agree with the list of do’s & don’ts. Never write anything negative about a blog. It’s so rude and disrespectful. I tend to comment on the blogs of people who have commented on mine and even if what they’ve posted about isn’t my style, I’ll fine SOMETHING that I like or find interesting and comment on that instead. Being polite isn’t hard work xx

    Reply
  24. FallForFall

    I do leave comments and from some of them I did gain some traffic. I believe leaving comments is beneficial for both you and blogger you are commenting. That blogger gets feedback and you can as well get feedback or two, maybe even a follow if they like what you offer on your blog.

    http://fallforfall.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  25. Robin Avidor

    Great news and congratulations! Funny, I have been very consoicus lately of leaving comments on blogs rather than just following. I love the idea of really connecting with people all over the world! Nice to meet you! Hopefully many of us can meet at the IFB conference in a few weeks! Til then ~See you around the community!! xo r xo Robin http://rockinrobinsrednest.blogspot.com/ https://twitter.com/#!/robinavidor https://www.facebook.com/RockinRobinsRedNest pinterest.com/robinavidor http://www.tumblr.com/blog/rockinrobinsrednest
    Best-
    Robin

    Reply
  26. morganvsmorgan

    Thats awesome. I like to comment on blogs as often as I can – I know I personally love to receive feedback so I’m more than happy to give it πŸ™‚ I’d say the majority of my traffic is from commenting too.

    Reply
  27. Wonderful and Marvelous

    Oh my god, what a great case of good fortune! I would surley suffer a heart attack if some magazine like The Wall Street journal called me because of a comment I’ve left somewhere! πŸ˜‰
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

    Reply
  28. debi c

    brilliant!!!this is why i love blogging so much!wonderful things can happen to you!
    i love leaving behind nice comments and appreciate getting them..this is wonderful!!

    Reply
  29. Ana

    I love commenting, full stop.
    I love telling people how much they have inspired me by something they did or created.
    I did it before I started reading blogs, I did it before I started a blog myself, I still do it now.
    *
    Leaving a link in the comment body, for me, kinda takes away from the aforementioned appreciation.
    I’m glad to hear it worked for you, but I don’t like that practice. The comment highlighted in the article seems to me to clash with the 4th DO/DON’T suggested.
    *
    There’s this ‘Website’ section of the comment form for a reason; anything more, if not linking to a closely related article on your site, is overkill.
    Karma now would be to not only allow, but actively encourage linking to sites in the comment body on your own blog at least, visiting some of them yourself and maybe even promoting some of the smaller blogs.
    *
    That said, I love the relationship I’ve established through commenting with some bloggers I admire Beautiful With Brains and form is void are bloggers who nurture comment culture.
    The atmosphere at their blogs is the thing that got me to register to comment and, later, it inspired me to start something of my own.

    Reply
  30. Cinthia

    I absolutely love this article because it shows that anything can happen as long as your positive and honest. I love leaving comments not only because it creates my traffic for my blog, but because I love giving other people the feeling I get when I get a positive comment. It just makes your day better when people like what you write about. Plus, the point of blogging is to write what you feel and staying positive.

    Congrats on the mention in The Wall Street Journal : )

    http://breakfastatcindis.blogspot.com/

    Best,
    Cinthia

    Reply
  31. Rachel

    That’s so awesome! I find that when I comment on popular blogs, my comments just get glanced over and I rarely get replies from the author themselves. I like commenting on smaller blogs and posts that have more content to them then just outfit posts. I have made several friendships through insightful comments though.

    Reply
  32. Kathleen Lisson

    Yes! My blog focuses on ladies hats and racetrack / polo style. I enjoy interacting with the local polo club and mentioning thoroughbred racing news on Twitter and one retweet was seen by a reporter for the local newspaper. They invited me to be a part of their ‘community media lab’ and will use me a source for future stories. I am really excited to showcase the unique equestrian-focused fashion in our part of New York, and partnering with local media will extend my blog’s reach.

    Reply
  33. Lisbon Lifestyle

    I always enjoy making a good and positive comment! And when i really like a post i think it’s good to let the other person know, maybe i should start to promote myself more while doing that! always learning!!!!

    Reply
  34. Akaleistar

    What an inspiring story! I have made friends with other bloggers thanks to commenting. Commenting really can open doors πŸ™‚

    Reply
  35. Liesl Binx

    Inspiring indeed! I often frequent refinery 29 it’s one of my favorites but for some reason I never thought to comment on there even though I comment on most other blogs I read. Now I will! Congratz!

    Reply
  36. Tatjana

    Thanx Jessie that is really wonderful advise and with evidence now all bloggers can see the importance of living word on the blogs we view (good, true and sincere comments). Congrates on getting in the wall street journal, do keep up the good work.
    Misstatybliss.blogspot.com
    Xxxx
    Tatjana

    Reply
  37. Virginie

    I completely share this idea, blogging is an exchange concept where feedback has its main place. It makes us growing!

    Virginie/ Style Reload

    Reply
  38. Lulu

    The last two points do kind of clash though like someone else said, I feel like people who comment & leave their URL in the comment are doing it just to promote themselves and therefore most of the time come across as insincere.

    Sometimes it feels like people don’t even read/look at the post, they just see you and your blog as an opportunity.

    And if you are open to that kind of thing there’s a point when it becomes less “You scratch my back & I’ll scratch yours” and more “Hey lets link each other’s blogs even if we don’t like them because traffic & popularity is the most important thing!”

    Most sites (like blogger etc) you can click on the commenters name & go to their profile and see their blog if you want to, I never click on a URL left in a comment. I feel like it’s just a (small) step up from “I’ve linked you, now link me back!” which has always annoyed me.

    Personally, I don’t appreciate that.

    Reply
  39. CHICHI @ barboradudinska.com

    Love it! Comments are great. They show that other people care. That they have something to say because you are worth it.
    Xxx

    Reply
  40. Onome

    I never believed in commenting on other blogs until I read your post. Great piece and really Inspiring!

    Reply
  41. Corrie

    On the leaving a link in your comment mention, don’t most sites include a link track back in your name when you fill out your info in order to comment? I’m happy to see Ana thought of this in her comment as well.

    I used to include a link back in the body of my comment but then felt #1 it made my comments seem less genuine and #2 that I was duplicating efforts. Granted, the duplication may help give you TWO links back to your site, which may work even better but may seem more like you are just promoting your site.

    I’m curious what everyone else feels about this. I don’t think either way is right or wrong, just stating an observation.

    Reply
  42. Wil Harris

    Commenting on other blogs is all about networking, getting your blog out there and finding other fellow bloggers. I don’t think we should expect anything in return but If we do, that’s great! My sisters and I have found some really great blogs from others commenting on other blogs. We’ve also got a few people say they saw our comments on another blogΒ and wanted to check out our blog. Great article!

    Reply
  43. JZP

    I couldn’t agree more that negativity should be avoided. It’s always better for us to lead by example and take the high road.
    Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,
    JZP

    Reply
  44. Harajuku Girl FL

    As a blogger myself, I like to comment on posts I personally like. It’s encouraging to know someone is out there reading AND appreciating your posts! We don’t do this for money, we do it for love. When someone says “Hey, right on!” then it’s a great feeling!!!
    I’m not a fan of “I’m following you, so follow me!” comments… those aren’t genuine in my opinion. Typically, I can just click on your name or profile link and find out who you are so I can follow you. The blatant self-promotion on someone else’s page isn’t necessary, or polite.

    THANK YOU for your post about the logo trend! UGHHH, I can’t stand it! It’s very 90’s or earlier and to me almost equals fake or you bought one logo item to show off because you really can’t shop this brand normally. I’m all about being authentic, inside and out!!!

    Keep up the awesome writing πŸ™‚
    DOWN WITH LOGO APPAREL! lol

    Reply
  45. The Fashion Commentator

    All my blogger-virtual-friendships began with several comments about my opinions on their blogposts. First we became friends on Fb/Twitter and then we met at the Fashion Weeks or Parties. It’s very cool to know all the other friends and bloggers during the events ;)))

    Reply
  46. Lifestyled

    What a lovely lesson in the “Golden Rule” of blogging. Commenting is such a wonderful way to compliment bloggers- I personally feel a little thrill of affirmation each time I receive a comment. Thank you for the reminder!
    Warmly,

    Faerl Marie

    Reply
  47. Alice Loh

    I’m a new fashion blogger from Malaysia and this post has given inspiration to a newbie like me. I guess it’s due to culture difference, I tend to reserve comments to myself instead of publishing it as not to be misunderstood as self-promoting. After reading your article, I agree that bloggers do appreciate opinions and I should share my thoughts!

    (See I’m practicing your suggestion, a link back to my blog!) http://www.byaliceloh.com

    Reply
  48. Sapphire Kharyzma

    I enjoy reading other blogs and leaving comments. It not only shows great blog love — but it allows my opinion and feelings — voice, to be heard! I also write for the love of writing and to share my experiences! It’s always nice when we get exposure for doing what we love! I applaud your success πŸ™‚

    Reply
  49. DesignThrift

    that’s an amazing story. I could be a lot better at commenting, i guess i got kind of burnt out about it because I was always leaving comments for other blogs and then my posts were going unnoticed with maybe 1 comment only. But commenting is definitely a way to get more followers, I just don’t want to come off as one of those people who only comments to get promotion on their own blog .

    Reply
  50. RoisinElizabeth

    I love this, I think commenting on other blogs is really important, and I do try to return every comment I actually get on mine so it definitely provides interaction and gets people on to your site! I dont reply to comments along the lines on ‘great dress, I’m following you, follow me back’. As you said it sounds insincere and I don’t think it’s the proper way to build traffic or get followers.

    Reply
  51. Sabina

    Nice article–Congrats on the WSJ mention. Very inspirational indeed.

    That said, I agree with what Corrie said in the comments section. Sometimes links can seem too promotional and make a comment seem less sincere. I used to do it all the time but stopped for that reason. Now I mostly leave links when I’m commenting somewhere I haven’t commented before of if there’s a specific post I think the blog author might be interested in.

    Reply
  52. My Passport To Style

    Just goes to show that genuine constructive comments are worth taking the time to write and when all said and done and even if nobody picked up on your comment, you will always feel better writing something heartfelt that something cheesey for the sake of it! Congratulations on this post and on your success!

    Reply
  53. eva lavender

    HUGE believer in commenting karma! It’s also just fun and hassle free! I love reading other fashion blogs, especially ones that really inspire me, so it isn’t even a bother to post a nice, genuine comment when I’m really enjoying the content! Super awesome post!

    xx Eva
    stylewandering.blogspot.com

    Reply
  54. amy

    Love this article, and congrats on getting onto the WSJ! (As a English major graduate, being a part of a major newspaper was my dream too!)

    I believe in the same karma too – I started writing because I love the English language and found so much inspiration around me to share the things I love. I found other truly wonderful blogs out there, and left my thoughts and comments on those pages, from recipes to weddings to fashion trends and life’s major moments. I’ve made some friends along the way, too, which is always the added bonus to continue writing.

    Reply
  55. Kyle

    Ahh, the power of the comment. I’ve heard this advice before, but never took it seriously until now. I read so many stories through out the day and I thought I was doing my duty by sharing the good ones socially. With one extra second of time I’m going to respect my responsibility to the community and actually let the writer know what I think by more than just “share on Twitter.”

    Thanks!

    Reply
  56. PiiaO

    Your story leaves me absolutely speechless. Who would have thought that one well-written comment would open so many doors!
    Took your advice and made my karma a little better again πŸ™‚
    -P.
    Bowtie Diary

    Reply
  57. sunshine & daydreams

    It is so very nice to receive a genuine compliment on your blog, especially if you actually take time to write content ( as opposed to just photographing yourself in a new outfit everyday) It is also kind of heartbraking when you just know someone hasn’t even bothered to read your blog and is just fishing for followers. I always repay the compliment, but I’m left feeling hollow. A bit like the feeling you get after you buy cheap clothing with a logo on it.

    Reply
  58. themerchantproject

    It’s great you are addressing this on IFB – it’s become such a part of the community that it’s important to talk about!

    Reply
  59. stefanie

    Amazing story! I admit, I could do a LOT better at commenting, especially when I visit so many different blogs. Working on it! πŸ™‚

    Stefanie
    prettyisthis.com

    Reply
  60. J9 STYLE

    Great story and I do believe in Comment Karma. BTW, I totally agree with your Coach comment. Wearing logos is so 90’s!

    Reply
  61. TheAsiaMonique

    Now this article, is fantastic! Congrats to you for being positive with the comment and for that great opportunity! As well, I will agree that the logo on everything did present itself to be quite unappealing.

    Reply
  62. Anna Pezzulli

    This is a great “good to know.” I’ve always wondered if the blogger reads or actually cares about the comments on their posts. I will start going out of my way to comment more on the posts I appreciate. Thanks for the heads up! http://www.annanextdoor.com

    Reply
  63. Alexis

    I absolutely agree! If I have a genuine love for what I am reading I will leave a comment and a link back. I don’t understand why some bloggers promote negativity, like you said if you don’t like it just move on!

    Reply
  64. TΓ’nia Sequinho

    This post made me smile. Really! It’s something that I really believe since I started blogging, 7 years ago, when everyone commented on every post they liked. It was a really good time and it brought me a lot of friends that I still follow through their blogs. I really wish that today 1 in 10 comments that I left would be responded with a comment on my blog. But you know, I still do it. Not because I wish I could be featured on The Wall Street Journal, but because I know how much a good comment on my work means to me, so I want the same to every blogger when I enjoy her/his work. πŸ™‚
    Thank you for this article and thank you, Jessie, for sharing this story with us!

    Reply
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