In my view, comments – and replying to comments – are an essential part of the practice of blogging. After all, by posting in the public sphere you are inviting people read and be interested in your words. If your blog were purely private then you could password-protect it or confide your thoughts to a paper diary.
Bloggers deal with comments in various ways. Some, for example, close comments completely, making their blog read-only. It is possible that this might be desirable in some context or other though I cannot think of one. Closing comments is impolite. It says the blogger wishes to express him/herself but doesn’t give a fig your your opinion or thoughts on the subject. Why, then, should we bother to read your blog?
As bad, and in some ways worse, is to enable comments but never to reply to them. The person who comments is left feeling that the effort spent was wasted. Did the blogger even bother to read my comment? Did they think my comment stupid and worthless? There is no way to know and the comment writer is left frustrated and feeling a little foolish. S/he is likely to give up commenting or even reading your posts.
Another approach is to enable comments but have them held for moderation. This may be justified on a blog that attracts high feeling, perhaps because of its political or religious slant, but, in my opinion, it is rarely justified in the case of an ordinary personal blog. It suggests that the blogger thinks you might write something stupid or offensive, treating you as guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
I allow comments on my blog and do not hold them for moderation. I always reply to comments. Common courtesy demands no less. Even if I disagree with the comment, I still reply and politely. After all, I might have learnt something from the commentator’s point of view.
The only exception to the foregoing is the odd spam comment that manages to sneak past Akismet or the overtly offensive comment that offers nothing beyond gratuitous insult. The delete key deals with those.
The blogging world is about communication and communication, to merit the name, requires to be two-way. One way comminication is not communication at all.