Under the heading of a simple way to encourage readership and participation on your blog.
It’s a great practice once you start building a community of readers who comment on your blog posts to encourage more conversation by commenting back on comments. A great way to take this a step farther is to send a personal email to 1st time commenters thanking them and encouraging them to come back. I use the Akismet spam filter plug in for WordPress and will usually hold a first time comment for me to approve, signaling the first timeness. It’s a simple but systematic way to build community.
In addition, think about adding the Subscribe to Comments type plugin so a reader that makes a comment can receive email notification when someone else makes a comment on the post.