Update on 2/23/18: Looks like the answer is no. Design, in itself, is not enough to increase the perceived value of a blog post.
Update on 2/25/18: There’s a reason behind the brevity of this post. Design sends an instant message; typically, with the least amount of resources. This post is bare, minimal, and heavily focuses on the required parts of a blog post; headline, photo, link, words, spacing, and sign off.
Update on 7/9/18: Why am I back here? Oh well. I wish more people thought this post was funny.