Lindsay @ Cotter Crunch talked about how bloggers feel the need to constantly post, read and comment and how you can feel guilty if you can't keep up.
Sam @ Health, Happiness and Skinny Jeans noted how easy it is is to get wrapped up in the numbers (how many people comment, read your blog and so on.)
Tina @ Fath, Fitnesss and Fun mentioned that building real relationships is the goal of her blog, not to continually increase her reader numbers and comments.
Blogging can very quickly turn into a competition of who can get the most participation and you can find yourself in constant comparison to more "successful" bloggers.
I don't think that there is anything wrong with wanting to have a successful blog. I myself have posted on how to Build a Better Blog and How to Promote Your Blog.
I would argue that most bloggers write because they are passionate about what they blog about. They have unique experiences and a point a view that they would like to share with the world. I would also argue that while having thousands of readers may not be the most important goal of blogging, it is nice to know that someone is reading and benefiting from the information that you are putting out there.
This brings me back to my original question: How important are comments to your blog?
For me, this is a tricky answer. I agree with Tina, I think blogging is all about building relationships (online and in real life) and participation on your blog can be one way to measure this. People are reading and responding.
However, lack of response does not neccesarly mean that people are not reading or benefiting from what you put out there (think "lurkers"). As a matter of fact, I have met many people who have told me that they read my blog everyday and commenting has never even crossed their mind, they just stop by to get the information.
In fact, I have a roaster of blogs I read daily and I don't always comment. I am just there because I have connected with that person and like their perspective.
To Linday's point, sometimes we feel like pressure to comment on every blog we read. I would take that a step further and suggest that sometimes we do so even if we don't really have anything to contribute to the conversation. Commenting shouldn't be an obligation. You should comment because you want to. Period.
Sam talks about getting wrapped around the numbers. I admit that I do look at these things, I like to know how many people are reading and it is exciting to see that number go up. I also like to get comments. It is wonderful when people take the time to let me know how they feel on a certain topic.
That being said, I don't let these numbers define me or my blog. I will continue to write as long as it still brings me joy and if some of you want to come along for the ride, I would love to have you.
What do you think? (Absolutely no pressure to comment here ;)