Harness the Power of Images to Breathe New Life into Old Blog Posts

If you have been blogging for awhile I’m sure you have some classic, evergreen content buried in your blog’s archives. I’m referring to the kind of blog posts that need more exposure because they are extremely helpful and well-written. Yet even though they already have a ton of social shares, you and I both know that these articles deserve another Retweet. Now that you know the kind of posts I’m talking about, let’s take a look at how you can use sites like Pinterest and Google+ to get your older blog posts the traffic and attention they so desperately need.

Before we get started I want to inform you that you don’t need to have any expertise when it comes to graphics and images. We’re not going to use any complicated software like Photoshop but I’m going to show you how I used free online image editing tools to create eye-catching graphics that get noticed on Pinterest and other social media sites like Instagram and Google+.

FREE DOWNLOAD:  How To Build Your First Pinterest Board From Scratch. Click here.

The reason we are focusing on Pinterest in this blog post, is because when it comes to getting targeted traffic to your blog from social media, right now, Pinterest is the Queen of the Ball. If you want to strike up a real “engagement” party on your blog these days – you must be bringing in some traffic from Pinterest. With that said let me introduce you to our first weapon of mass construction. Canva.

Canva's Blog Graphic

Pinterest Images Inspired by Canva

Canva is one of the newest online graphic tools to help us non-designers flex our artistic muscles. One of the beautiful things about Canva is that once you decide what size graphic you want to compose, Canva will present you with several layout options to choose from. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to creating custom graphics, choosing a layout has always been the toughest part. By using Canva we have tons of pre-formatted layouts at our disposal. We can all breathe a little bit easier and now all we need to do is pick one and get started.

Let’s look at an example. In this case I knew I wanted to use the “Blog Graphic” layout because not only will this work great inside the blog post, it will also stand out on Pinterest and in the stream on Google+. That leaves Facebook out in the cold but two out of three ain’t bad (we’ll come back to that later). The default size for Blog Graphics in Canva is 800 x 1200 pixels and later you’ll see how I tweak the finished product to a slightly different size.

Once, I clicked on Blog Graphic, here are the layout options I was presented with:

Suggested Layouts in Canva

I spotted the perfect layout for the custom image I wanted to create. Next I clicked on the layout and opened it up for editing. Now let me caution you guys about something. Even though Canva is a free tool, there are times when you will be presented with the option to pay one dollar if you want to use one of their licensed images. You’ll know if you need to pay for an image if you see the Canva watermark on it like this:

Canva's Watermarked images cost a dollar

I think that $1.00 is a great price to pay for a high quality image and I think that all things considered, it’s a small price to pay for something that is going to make my blogging life simpler. However, in this case, I knew that I could use a different tool to create the same kind of background image and for those of you who don’t already know what I’m talking about – I’m pleased to introduce you to tool #2 in this tutorial. PicMonkey!

PicMonkey To the Rescue

I’ve talked about the PicMonkey online tool before and I’ve used it to create several custom graphics for my blogs and for my YouTube channel as well. Because I’ve used the tool so often, I knew that I could mimic the background image from the original Canva layout I found. Here’s how I did it:PicMonkey Fireworks

I opened a blank file in the PicMonkey picture editor and filled the canvas with a black background. I went into the themes menu and under “Celebrate” is where the Fireworks are hiding. Using different shapes, sizes, and colors from PicMonkey’s Fireworks collection I carefully placed them on the background in a pattern similar to the Canva image.

Recommended Reading: The Power of Visual Storytelling

If you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of work, you couldn’t be more wrong. I have so much fun composing free images in PicMonkey that I’m willing to bet that there was a huge grin on my face the entire time I created this one. I love the way these two tools can be used together and it has become part of my everyday routine.

I’m sure that Canva and PicMonkey will ignite a creative spark inside of you and bring out your hidden artistic creativity. Spend some time exploring these two tools and work with them alone or in combination to help tell a story with your images and get more attention for your premium content.

Let’s talk about: RESULTS

Take a look at what happened when I shared this new graphic on Google+ and gave a little “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation” to a blog post that I originally published over 7 months ago.

I’m sure these stats will change, but as I write this, my graphic was shared 20 times on Google+ on an otherwise uneventful Sunday evening. But what’s even more important for me is the comments that were left. For example, here’s what Charmaine Odusina had to say: (btw, it was Charmaine who inspired me to write this post.)

This image is definitely worth a thousand words before even watching the video. Can you show and tell on how you did it?
At the time I told Charmaine to sign up for my free Pinterest Training video (which you can grab right here) and here’s what she said after watching the video.
Thank you Ileane Smith I was blown away by the training. Both relieved to believe I can do it myself and excited about getting some done. I am thrilled. Thanks again.
Here’s the comment that came from Elizabeth Hall
First I have to say I love the image.  Very Pinnable.  Second I agree with you on the annotaions.  Most people don’t use them.  Actually I was lazy on my last video and skip that part of the editing  process.  I guess I need to go back and fix it.  Thanks +Ileane Smith 
Brian from Hot Blog Tips left this remark on Wade Harman’s reshare.
Doesn’t Ileane’s blog look amazing Wade? I could take that post and use it as an example of perfect blog content.
And my friend Alex Whalley describes the whole thing as “Brilliant”. At last count 60 people visited the old blog post from Google+ alone and I’m sure that count will grow as the day goes by (not to mention the traffic coming to this follow-up post). Pinterest traffic will pick up as the day progresses but I’m already getting lots of pins, likes and repins which is always a good thing.

Wrapping up

I think I’ve convinced you that you can breathe life into old blog posts with this strategy of creating new custom graphics and sharing them on social sites but let’s recap with a few do’s and don’ts just in case you missed any of the important take aways. Breathe New Life Into Old Blog Posts DO: Go through your blog archives and find the hidden gems of evergreen content that could use a little more exposure DON’T: Try this strategy on every old post all at once. Use it sparingly and strategically. For example you might see an unexpected spike in Google traffic for some old content – or in my case I saw a spike in YouTube search traffic for my old video. DO: Update any of the text in the post that might be out dated, perhaps there’s some new feature or discussion surrounding the topic that you might want to mention DON’T: Change the date or the permalink of the original post. It will create a mess that even I can’t help you untangle. Make the post “Sticky” instead, so that it shows up at the top of your blog page for a few days. DO: Experiment and have fun with Canva and PicMonkey – and DON’T: Forget to grab my free Pinterest Training.
You’ll learn more about using these two awesome graphic programs and 8 other fun tools you can use to create engaging images for your readers and social media connections. But maybe you’re already reviving old blog posts with new graphics. Please do tell!

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Welcome! I'm Ileane and this blog was created to help you learn about WordPress blogging, Social Media Optimization, YouTube Tutorials and more. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and be the first to know when I upload a new tutorial.
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  1. AAmir Awan

    Hi Ileane!
    Yes, Images are one of the best way to increase blog traffic and it’s also breath new life in to old posts.Thanks for sharing such an amazing idea, keep it up this great work.

  2. Hi Ileane, wow this is a tremendous post and it really motivates me to use some of these tools to bring some of my old blog posts out from hiding.

    I’m trying out PicMonkey right now it’s pretty cool. I’ve started to make some of the images on my newer posts more interesting using different effects and filters and texts layered on images and I have to agree, I’m getting plenty more interest, shares, especially on Pinterest as a result. I use a free tool called Photoscape which has some similar features as PicMonkey.

    Anyways thanks for writing this post Ileane, it’s important we don’t forget some of our old, but probably some of the best content we’ve created on our blogs.

    All the best – Fabrizio

    • Hi Fabrizio! Great to know that you are checking out PicMonkey. You already have a wealth of information when it comes to art and design so you’ll get up to speed in no time at all. Just give me a shout out if you have any questions.

      I’m going to be sure we are connected on Pinterest like we are everywhere else!

    • Hey Ryan! You have so many travel images that will soar on Pinterest. Combine a few effects from PicMonkey or Canva and you will get tons of traffic. Remember to use the longer images that work well on Google+ too. Thanks for stopping by Ryan.

  3. Hello Ms. Ileane,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I love that it’s easy to use. I already have a Pic Monkey account so I’m halfway there :).

    You’ve definitely lit a spark in me to take a look at my older posts :). Thanks for the great tip and for showing us how easy it is with the screenshots.

    Happy Monday! Have a great week!

    • Hi Corina,

      Isn’t PicMonkey the neatest thing? So glad to know that you are using it already. Thanks for stopping by and you have a great week as well.

  4. Your post is really valuable as was confused about Pinterest. I was seeking for some information related to it and found your blog good. I wanted to start using it earlier but didn’t have the proper idea. Now may be I can try to use it in the convenient way. I hope I will get such type of information further too. Thanks for the post.

  5. Dennis

    Images can obviously bring life to blog posts. They give a proper format and look to the posts. Thanks for sharing these tips with us Ileane. They are indeed very useful, and I will surely use them while using images for my blog posts.

  6. Ryan Percy

    Hi Ileane!
    Yes, Images are one of the best way to increase blog traffic and it’s also breath new life in to old posts.Thanks for sharing such an amazing idea, keep it up this great work.

  7. Thanks for the hint on Pinterest Ms. Ileane. I have a travel website too but I have not delve into the use of Pinterest. With your tips & tricks now I know better. Saw this post originally on Triberr.

  8. Govind

    Hey Ileane,
    Great post as usual with a worthy message. Thanks for sharing your detailed views on using images and boosting the old posts. Its good to reviews the old post and keep them updated with all information.


  9. Recently this strategy works quite well for me, even without sharing on my main project. It seems that latest Google updates always pick the images from my blog in top 10 results. Though I’ve mentioned before that my side project is travel related and image sharing and especially Pinterest and G+ generate excellent results.

    • Hi Kaloyan,
      With your travel site you should consider using Instagram in addition to Pinterest. I’m getting some great results and it’s a really fun platform. Perfect for the travel related niche.

      Thanks for your patience, and sorry for the late reply.

  10. Hey Ileane,

    I use to wonder how people get those images on Google+… I just started using Google+ this year and I started seeing these images. I’m glad I came to this post to get the secret behind this! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hey Ileane,

    Got to say, the Pinterest thing is the best thing to do, repin old posts to give them life again. Plus … everybody is right here, pictures are a MUST in every kind of post, this helps drive more traffic and makes it more interesting too. Great article!

    Best regards,

  12. Hi Thanks for this great post i was looking for ways to liven up some of my old posts and i think people still like to see visual on the posts.

    Anything that will help drive traffic is worth a try.

    thanks again !!!

  13. Hello Ileane..
    thanks for sharing informative post with us.. and yes you said right about image on post which is very useful for increasing traffic.

  14. olayinka

    I always here that Pinterest is another source of traffic but i cannot drive traffic to my niche site. I think the social media are for women..

  15. Hey Ileane,

    I guess I’m glad I stopped by here today when I did because I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday about doing this very thing. I’m only used Pic Monkey a couple of times but I guess I’ve never played around with it enough to do what you just did here with your image. Great job by the way and I’m not surprised it was shared so much and so many nice things were said.

    I appreciate you sharing this with us and I’m going to hopefully be working on that this weekend. Perfect timing for sure girl, thanks.

    Enjoy your weekend.


    • Hi Adrienne,

      I was just doing a blog maintenance when I noticed I didn’t reply to you on this. Well anyway you are using Canva like a pro now. I do have a question for you though – now that you have used both Canva and PicMonkey, which one is your favorite? I can’t choose between the two. I use both of them almost every day.
      Thanks for your patience Adrienne – again, sorry about the delayed response.

  16. Shailesh Jangra

    One can divert a huge traffic only with the basis of images. A good image explain more than words and everyone knows this facts. i am strongly agree with your post. by doing so, one can attract a good amount of traffic.

  17. Bookmarking this one right now. I love PicMonkey because it’s so easy to use. I’d never considered taking older blog content and re-purposing it this way. Thank you!

  18. Thanks for the post. My content really does need more life and with the use of images it will definitely help. I have had some experience with pinterest your post gave me more info I could use. Thanks for the do’s and don’ts as well. Very helpful.

  19. Great advice from top to bottom Ileane; from creating better images to going back through evergreen posts and breathing life back into them with great images.

    I hadn’t heard of Canva up until now but I have played with PicMonkey. I haven’t mastered PicMonkey yet and didn’t realize you could create awesome graphics until you and Wade Harman started talking about it.

    I absolutely love the look and layout of your blog. I love the content too but that’s always been top shelf. 😉

    • Hi Brian!

      It was slow going for me with Canva! In fact, I hated it at first and I couldn’t understand why everyone was raving about it. Well that all turned around once they started releasing a few short video tutorials that are focused on one specific aspect of the tool at a time. Videos always work for me and they really opened my eyes to how simply it is to use the tool. Here’s an example of what I mean:

      Let me know if you need an invite Brian. I have one left!

      Thanks for your support and shares. You’re the best.

    • Hi Shalu, yes you can create Infographics with Canva. Just pick the custom size and you can make the image more vertical in length.

  20. Ileane, you are WORKING those image editors girl! I have noticed how creative you’ve become with your images. Love the Breathe New Life one. :)

  21. I do consider that those evergreen articles that you have build need to be promoted in order to make sure that the information gets a constant flow of people that get in contact with it and use it.

    The ideas presented here with Pinterest are great but most of basic concept can be applied to build a video or a new viral post to promote the pillar evergreen content.

    Great article.

  22. Hi Ileane

    The Variety of Images Layout in Canva is better than picmonkey. But i still prefer to use Picmonkey as it offer great options to have eye catching images for free.

    Thanks Ileane for sharing basic blog tips that are much better effective than advance level blogging course.

    Thanks again…!

  23. Yes they can really change a post but the images need to be relevant to the content.If they aren’t relevant to that then what’s the use. Memegraphy is another thing you can try for the posts and infographic images always been admired by all.

  24. If you want to drive traffic from images you will have to optimize your images. Your images should be properly optimized and must have ALT tags and Title. Another most important thing is that your images should be highly relevant to the blog post. The images must fulfill “An image worth more than a thousand words”. Useful information and unique quality content is always admired not only by Google but by audience as well. We should always keep in mind that how our audience will look this content instead of how Google will gonna rate this.

  25. Hi Ileane,
    Picmonkey is one of the best website for image editing, i will be going to use the strategy mentioned in this article in order to bring traffic to older blog posts. Thanks for sharing this useful article.

  26. akshay

    Yes they can really change a post but the images need to be relevant to the content.Thanks for sharing these tips with us Ileane

  27. Love this idea and in fact I wrote something similar on my blog about bringing old posts to the light through lots of strategies. For images, I can really think of at least 10 of my older posts where I wasn’t very careful in selecting the images, as Pinterest was not on my radar at the time.
    Great, excellent tips as usual, Ileane!

  28. Ankit

    adding multimedia like photos and videos really helps a lot to boost your posts. I do the same with my website.

  29. Hi Ileane,
    This is really amazing, though i have an account there with pintrest i never heard of Canva, this is a useful tuto. I am saving it for my further use. Thanks for this excellent tuto, get more attention around. Will come back again to check out more.
    Thanks a lot for sharing this informative post.
    Best Regards

    • Philip, Canva is pretty new and the service is still in beta. If you apply for it, I hear it doesn’t take long for the invite to arrive. Give it a try!

  30. Christy R. Jackson

    I agree with Ileane, images breath new life in to the old articles. Images have much more engagement on social media, Twitter also provided option to upload images. Nice article thanks.

  31. Hello Ileane,

    Well I just came to know about Picmonkey which seems a perfect site for editing of images. I’ll try that out. Yeah using of new images to old posts will surely get a new life and more hits.


  32. I love PicMonkey and had not heard off Canva until I read your blog post about it. Not too sure about it yet though. I do like how it has the social media icons something that Pic Monkey doesn’t. Any suggestions of where to get social media icons to use on pic monkey that don’t have a background at all?

    • Hi Kirsten, You should be hearing a lot more about Canva now that they have signed on Guy Kawasaki to be their official Evangelist. I’m really happy for them to get him to join the team

      Have you tried Iconarchive to get those social icons? I’ve grabbed a few images from them before. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

      Thanks for stopping by Kirsten!

  33. Hi Ileane,

    thanks!!! Picmonkey is the tool i was looking a long time for. I already create some images with it for my own blog.

    Best regards

    • Hey Rene,
      PicMonkey certainly is flexible and they are adding new features regularly. In the latest update, they allow you to use any of the fonts on your computer. I love that one.
      Thanks for your comment Rene.

  34. Geld Verdinia

    i NEVER thought of getting more traffic by republishing old posts with new images but i really like the idea. This could give you more views in a short period of time plus social signals and likes as well.

    Good post

  35. Great post Ileane! I’ve been updating one post a week for a few months, and it’s been awesome for my site traffic! But I always redate the post. Then people know the info is current. Why would you not want to redate it?

    • Louise, you have such fantastic graphics on your blog and I love Pinning your stuff!
      I’m very picky when it comes to dates and since I show dates on comments as well as posts and pages, I think there something strange about a post that has comments that are older than the post date.
      But since you mentioned it, maybe I’ll give it a try to see how it goes. It’s always good to look at the other side of the coin.
      Thanks Louise!

      • I’m honored that you pin my stuff! :)
        You’re right, the date issue could be weird. Sometimes I include “this post was originally published on… and updated on…” but not always. My stuff tends to be more time sensitive, so I just assume a post about Facebook cover photos, for example, dated 3 years ago would be ignored if found in search. Just wanted to be sure I wasn’t doing something that would really mess me up!

  36. Hi Ileane!
    Very well written post which contains very useful information. No doubt image plays vital role in blogging. If you wisely choose a quality image for your post. Your audience attracts towards on your blog. Due to this you feel the real different in your blog traffic. Thanks for sharing such an excellent post.

  37. Muhammad Danish

    Thanks for the hint on Pinterest Ms. Ileane. I have a games, consultancy and video websites too but I have not delve into the use of Pinterest. With your tips & tricks now I know better. Saw this post originally on Triberr.