As a social media marketer, content is at the core of my practice. Without insightful, educational, or interesting content to share, I don’t have anything to talk about online.

While curating content is an important part of social media marketing, I’ve found that producing my own content on my company’s blog has been a great way to build credibility for myself and my company. The business blogs that I’ve contributed to in the past have proven to be instrumental in my social media strategy, as they help me meet business goals by driving targeted traffic back to the business’ website.

The trick, however, is blogging often enough to make an impact. Regular blogging has clear benefits to your business: first, it helps your website get indexed more frequently by search engines so that you rank higher in search results; second, it drives a steady flow of traffic to your website to help new prospects discover your business; third, it keeps you top of mind for returning visitors; and finally, yes, it can even help you generate leads.

But, sometimes, it can be difficult to come up with enough blog topic ideas to keep the content coming; this is a common problem.  Allow me to offer five tips for brainstorming blog topic ideas so you can publish on a regular schedule.

Blog Topic Ideas | #1 Newsjacking

One of my favorite methods for coming up with great blog topic ideas is to newsjack, or write a blog post about a recent news story. For example, when Facebook announced its algorithm changes, everyone was writing blog posts about what the changes were, what impact they might have, what they liked, and what they didn’t like, etc.

When I’ve done this in the past, I always tried to add value above and beyond the basic announcement, providing insight on who the news would affect, how it would affect them, and what they could do about it. This helped my posts stand out from the other articles.

Blog Topic Ideas | #2 Create Reaction Posts

Oftentimes, I’ll read a blog post that really gets me thinking – and I’ll want to contribute to the conversation. Rather than writing a novel in the comments section of another blog, I’ll write a reaction post on my own blog. This gives me the freedom to provide an in-depth response to something that intrigued me, and helps me come up with blog topic ideas that at least one other person might be interested in (i.e. the original author)!

Blog Topic Ideas | #3 Share and Discuss Infographics

I often get blog topic ideas from infographics that are related to my blog’s focus. If I see one on Mashable, Pinterest, or another blog that I think would be interesting to my community, I upload the image and do a short write up on it. I usually include something I found surprising, or I’ll pick one of the main points and elaborate on it.  I recently did this on my article How to Get More Followers on Twitter. I found an incredible infographic with tons of great tips for increasing your Twitter following, and wrote a blog post about my four favorite.  If you want to take this tip to the next level, create your own infographic and write up a blog post about it!  (Note: this tip also works for videos you find interesting.)

Blog Topic Ideas | #4 Interview Someone

Rather than trying to come up with a 600-1,000 word post, I will sometimes come up with a few questions that I can ask a customer, thought leader or business partner and have them create the majority of the content. In the past, I’ve done simple email interviews with various thought leaders about industry trends; I send them the questions, and they email their answers back. This was a fun way to collaborate with others in my industry, and they helped me promote the interview to get broader reach. I’ve also seen people run live Google Plus hangouts for these types of interviews, which can be recorded and embedded on your blog, and uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo. It’s a nice bonus to come up with great blog topic ideas that can be reused in other types of content.

Blog Topic Ideas | #5 Get Ideas from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Each time I write a blog post, I type my post’s keywords into the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to see if I can optimize my post for search engines. By doing so, I get alternative, suggested keywords, complete with metrics on the degree of competition for the keywords and the number of monthly searches. This is full of great blog post ideas! For example, when I typed in “Twitter Marketing,” I found that “how to use Twitter” had low competition and 135,000 global, monthly searches. That’s definitely low-hanging fruit from an SEO perspective, so I add that to my list of future blog topic ideas.

I also try to think up some related blog topics ideas, like “How to Use Twitter for Lead Generation,” “How to Use Lists on Twitter,” and “How to Use Twitter Search to Keep an Eye on My Competitors.” Rather than trying to come up with blog topic ideas in a crunch, I’ve found it extremely beneficial to have a list of ideas already at my disposal.

What are your favorite ways to brainstorm blog topic ideas? Share them below, and they may be featured on a future post!