Free Pens For Top Commentators


I received a big box of pens from I was discussing prizes for the blog with the owner of 1234 Pens and he told me he would send me a bunch of promotional pens to give away. When I opened the box, I thought they were all promotional pens, but upon digging inside the box, I saw that 1234 Pens has made me some custom John Chow dot Com pens as well!


Customized pens make great promotional and branding items. Everyone needs a pen and when it has your name on it, you keep your company in front of your customers (or blog in front of readers). Promotional pens are also surprisingly cheap to make. The yellow 1234 Pen can be made for as little as 83 cents each. The pens that made for me cost a lot more because it’s made of metal – pricing starts at $5.22 each.

Now that I have these pens, I need to come up with some creative ways to give them all away. I’ve decided to start by giving a set of pens to all the top 10 commentators. If your name is on the top commentators list at the end of this month, you’ll be getting a John Chow dot Com and pen.

A set of pens will also be sent to the winner of this Friday’s MyBlogLog contest.

Good luck everyone!

BTW – if you want to order up some promotional pens from, tell them John Chow sent you and they’ll give you 10% off the order and free ground shipping.

93 thoughts on “Free Pens For Top Commentators”

  1. Shawn Knight says:

    Awesome, cool writing utensils! *looks into getting my own pens made*

    1. Shawn,

      Let me know which pens you like & ill hook you up.

      1. Marc says:

        Now that is impressive. I’ve never seen ROI turnaround that quickly 🙂

  2. Aris says:

    Thanks goodness, we got the old design back. 🙂

    1. Kalle says:

      Yeah, thats awesome! 🙂 But the new design was ment to look a lot better. If they fix it so it look like it was ment to be I would rather have that one.

  3. Lorne Fade says:

    Yet another great marketing tool you seem to utilize on a regular basis… giving people free stuff!

    I might have to try this.

  4. David says:

    Good stuff, the pens look really nice!!!

    1. Kalle says:

      Yeah they really do! 🙂

  5. Amazing. I love the look of those pens and I will be commenting like crazy from now on.

    Also if anyone else wants to enter another competion im giving away a free proxy site from my blog

    Proxies are easy to run and great money makers so if your interested check out the blog.

  6. Get them made in Taiwan or China, much cheaper!!!

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      Also in quality, I’m sure.

  7. Nils says:

    those are the most amazing pens i have ever seen
    i’m in love

  8. I want some of my own custom pens. Those are sweet.

  9. Ryan says:

    Well of course they have to send you the expensive ones … but they look nice!

    As if there wasn’t enough incentive to be in the top already. 😉

  10. Soultrance says:

    Cool, the company I work for has a bunch of the pens just like the John Chow pens.

  11. calvin says:

    I would love to have that pen John – but it is unlikely that i’d be eligible.

    1. Jane May says:

      Sure you are Calvin. If you start commenting today, you have about 2 weeks to keep up the commenting and be in the top 10…not sure if you’ll get the top commentator spot though…I think who ever is there will pull away from the pack close to the end of the month.

      1. Kalle says:

        Yeah, might be some hard competition close to the end. But that remains to be seen.

      2. Marc says:

        I suspect that this month will be different than last given the sudden interest in the pens. Only time will tell.

        Page views must be going nuts. I think I might need to pick up a box of pens with John Chow’s URL on it.

  12. zaki says:

    You just have a fantastic idea and marketing tool and excellent creativity…I hope I can be as succesful as you…

  13. I sure do have a long way to go.

  14. Sonia says:

    Would be nice to get a pen and a pencil pairing. These mechanical pencils are SO expensive you know.

  15. Dev says:

    Hey John – That is some awesome branding. Your evil mind never fails to impress me. I’ve been so inspired that I’ve started a contest of my own at . I’m giving away a Brand New copy of Age of Empires III to one lucky winner for the first 50 users to subscribe to my RSS feed. Get all the details at my blog!

  16. Jacob says:

    Hey, that’s a really great deal you’re offering there. I only fear that you might get random posts by people. I know I won’t win because the only way I could win was if I did spam. Oh well…

  17. Dave says:

    I’m going to look into some of those promo pens. Thanks for the info, it’s nice to save 10% while at it too 🙂

  18. Leftblank says:

    Nice pens John, for how long will your promotional oode work? Looks like a nice way of promotion for sure.

  19. chrisjos says:

    Great idea yet again ….john

    Also if anyone else wants to enter contest where you could win an all inclusive vacation to the caribbean. just visit

    I believe its an easy opportunity to win a Caribbean vacation.

  20. Sunflower says:

    That is one more great idea to market your blog, besides the “Review my blog” and “Join MyBlogLog community”.

    A smart move 🙂

    Hope I can get one of this free pen 🙂

    I will Exercise for Comments!

  21. Ed Lau says:

    Dude, you totally just fed the comment whores. It’s only a third of the way into the freakin’ month and most already have 60+ comments.

    How is that even possible!?

    1. Leftblank says:

      Do I taste some jealousy in your post? 😉 Anyway, with the current rate of comments being posted it’s not too hard to do so actually, there just keep things coming up to respond to.

  22. deejay says:

    that was a very nice way of promoting your blog… a good idea.

  23. Nenad Ristic says:

    I am normally very picky when it comes to pens. Those ones look very cool, but how well do they write?

    1. John Chow says:

      They write very good. Especially my pen.

  24. Nomar says:

    I love those pens 🙂 Im up for one !!

    1. Kalle says:

      Yes, they look very cool 🙂

      1. Nomar says:

        They do 😀

  25. Pallab says:

    I dont stand a chance as far as being in the top commentators is concerned.

    1. Kalle says:

      Well, honestly it isn’t that hard. It will take you maximum one hour to reach the top 😉

  26. I waiting in an anticipation for the “Darren Rowse Loves John Chow’s Pens” ads to appear!!!


  27. Kalle says:

    Thanks for the competition. Do you ship the pens all around the world as you do with the LEGO flashdrives?

    1. Allen.H says:

      Yeah, I wonder how much would shipping would end up costing, but since you’ve got the money. Thanks! =)


  28. Vikas says:

    What can I say John. You are the marketing expert.

  29. Indi Scoop says:

    Evil monster of the n-th order!

    you have traded the pens for a promotional post on their service… havent you?

    1. John Chow says:

      The root of all evil according to some. 🙂

  30. Paul says:

    I desperately need some new pens, considering I don’t work for a large company that I can steal them from.

    Am I right in saying you’ve had a massive increase in rss subscribers?

  31. Raj says:

    Gr8 Post John

    And Nice Marketing Tip


  32. Those yellow pens are too slick.

    And congrats on 2400 readers!!!

    First you crossed 2k and your upto 2400 already! Amazing!

    1. Kalle says:

      Well, it was 1800 yesterday. It goes up and down all the time. If I have got it right that number is how many different persons that have downloaded the feed the last 24h.

      1. Jane May says:

        Yeah, Chow wrote about it a while back. RSS feeds are counted by how many feeds clicked to your site the day before. So current numbers are from yesterday’s feeds…right John?

        1. John Chow says:

          Right. That number is the number of people who access this blog with RSS yesterday.

  33. Lorne Fade says:

    The name John Chow oozes viral marketing.

  34. jim says:

    I’ve been thinking of getting some promotional pens for my site, this might push me over the edge.

  35. Alex Shalman says:

    How come I don’t see any ads up on the site?

  36. Jane May says:

    Nice way to promote comments John, not to mention giving love to promoters.

    1. Kalle says:

      Agree with that. This will make the commenting and activity boom at this site 🙂

      1. Jane May says:

        Especially if each person leaves at least 9 comments…the effect is naturally a…BOOM!!! :p

  37. tom says:

    I might comment more if you offered me this pen, the most expensive pen ever created! only $730,000. a piece, why dont you give away a few.

  38. The gender is different, but otherwise I can safely call John Chow to be Oprah Winfrey of the blogosphere 😉

  39. Samer Bazzi says:

    I don’t comment much 🙂 so no pen for me 🙂

  40. Nate W. says:

    Free pens? What’s next? Free vacations?

    1. Jane May says:

      Yes please! I’ll take a couple of those 🙂

  41. Allen.H says:

    Anyone know the reason behind the massive increase in RSS subscribers?


    1. Jane May says:

      Sure, that’s easy! It’s because John chow is the man!!!


    2. Kalle says:

      Don’t know really. Might be the newscoverage, but that was some days ago.

      1. John Chow says:

        The 10 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid got posted on the WordPress Dashboard. It’s still there right now. Check your WordPress control panel.

        1. Marc says:

          I saw that yesterday. Though that was pretty awesome. What kind of dividends did that kind of publicity pay John?

  42. Michael Kwan says:

    What’s interesting is that I’ve received, as far as I can tell, a better prize for being in the top commentators list already. I’ve been in contact with Tejpal of 1234Pens for some freelance writing work 🙂

    1. Marc says:

      Now that’s a heck of a prize 🙂 Congrats Michael.

      1. Michael Kwan says:

        Thanks Marc. It’s one of those strange networking things that worked out. 🙂

  43. derrich says:


    Will you be angry if I spam comment your blog? I need some more pens (mine keep disappearing). I promise I’ll only do it this once…unless you’re giving away a mousepad, which also keep disappearing for some reason.

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      I think so long as your comments add something to the discussion and are reasonably on-topic, I think John’s all for it.

      1. Kalle says:

        I agree with you. It should be ok as long as you write on-topic. But I noticed that John has closed the comments on old posts, don’t know really from which date, so it might be hard for new people to get into the list now.

        1. Marc says:

          That’s his new plugin. He wrote about it a while ago. He had it set to 20 days in the screenshot he took. Don’t know if that’s where the final set point ended up though.

          1. John Chow says:

            It is set to 180 total days or 30 days without a reply, whichever comes first.

  44. Great idea, giving out promotional pens for commenting, but aren’t you concerned you’ll get a deluge of random and frivolous comments, just for the sake of trying to win a pen? I’m noticing that there are 60 comments on this already (oh, 61 with mine, am I another frivolous commenter? It’s OK, you don’t have to send me a pen!)

    1. Marc says:

      How do you quantify frivolous? There are a lot of forums out there full of far less intelligible things than are written here. John’s just working the machine to his advantage. Brilliant from my perspective 😉

  45. Cool gifts John. I’m sure the pens will become collectibles – you might even find them on eBay in a few years 😉

    But you better get ready for A LOT of comments 😉 – aren’t you afraid that people will start to “spam” your blog with nonsense, single-word comments?

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      And that’s where the spam filter (and John’s own browsing) will come into the picture, deleting those frivolous comments.

  46. DMK says:

    Why not just give them away for free?

    The possibilities are:

    1. You offer pens for top commenters. 50% of people will start spamming offtopic and the other 50% will think “A PEN? Does Chow think i’m a broke ass student and he’s a king? WTF, I’ve got 20 of them at home and can buy another 20 anytime”.

    2. You’ll give them for free to anyone who wants, no spamming, 100% of people targeted, nobody offended.

    1. Kalle says:

      Well, alternative two wouldn’t work since he has got so many visitors. And it wouldn’t give him many new visitors either.

      He can prevent spamming by blocking names from the list, so if a person is spammy just block him and he won’t get the prize. But to be honest I havn’t seen much spam yet, just more comments 🙂


    2. Marc says:

      no spamming = no increase in page views and less content on his website and (add other advantages here)…

  47. Free Shwag rules!!! And this is of course a cheap attempt to get on the top comment list!!!

  48. Jeff says:

    Wow and this post already has 63 comments.. hahaha

  49. Marc says:

    I’m amazed at the huge uptake in posts over a couple of free pens! The free backlink isn’t enough? If I’m lucky enough to get a couple, I’ll trade them up with anyone who’ll give me a decent backlink.

  50. Azeem says:

    Dear John,

    It is nice that you are such a giving person.

    I read your blog from Mumbai , India .

    I always recommend your blog to my friends also.

    Keep up the good work.

    Your blog is like a thriller movie.

    Keep the camera rolling.

  51. AglocoNews says:

    The one with your website on it is pretty sharp.

  52. Larry Keiler says:

    Helluva way to attract comments!

    Hey! Free lunch on my blog! Bits & Bytes. A little crow. Also, my idea for fortuneless cookies!

    All intelligent people love a good pen, especially one that writes like butter.

  53. Leftblank says:

    Hm, I thought it’d be a nice give-away for my website as well, but I must say they don’t quite aim for the small users, most of the orders only start at 200-500 pens, which is still a lot of money if you buy that many pens, I’m hoping they’ll also allow smaller orders later…

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