Bloggers Going Pro

The Economist has a quick look at the growing trend of bloggers going pro and making some cash. In particular the “mom and pops” who see blogging as a way to stay at home and earn a living.

“In the old days, we used to be called newsletter publishers,� says Om Malik, a technology writer who quit his job at Business 2.0 magazine in June to work full-time on his blog, GigaOm. He has hired two other writers, and his blog now attracts about 50,000 readers a day, generating “tens of thousands� in monthly revenues. Costs, including salaries, are around $20,000 a month.

Since becoming a consultant, I’ve decided to make MarketingPilgrim.com a large part of my career plans. We’ve already got a great new design, we’re engaging the community, and looking for sponsors. In the coming weeks, you’ll see further new developments here, and some new contributors.

Yahoo Buys Contest Site Bix, But Why?

I must admit to being a little perplexed as to why Yahoo decided it needed to acquire Bix, a company that provides online karaoke and contests.

The company does have 1 million users and has gotten to that size by offering contests with prizes worth as much as $50,000. But online karaoke?

I suspect this deal is as much about the people, as it is about the intellectual property. Here’s what TechCrunch has to say about the founder of Bix.

[CEO Mike] Speiser was previously the founder of Epinions…Yahoo! got a seasoned social media man to put in charge of a number of product management at the company’s most social products.

The fact that the terms of the deal were not disclosed, but likely less than $15 million, it’s highly likely this was a human capital driven deal.

Channel Sponsors

Microsoft to Provide Mobile Search Ads to Sprint

ClickZ reports Sprint has joined forces with Microsoft to display pay-per-call ads and search on its phones.

The deal will make Microsoft’s fledgling Windows Live Search for mobile product available to Sprint wireless users…Sprint users will be able to use the Windows Live Search technology to perform local area searches, according to the companies.

Ingenio is reportedly the provider of the pay-per-call infrastructure.

Google Adds Click-to-Call to Google Maps

Google announced the addition of click to call technology to its Google Maps product.

Here’s how it works: Search for a business, like a hardware store, on Google Maps, and click the ‘call’ link next to its phone number. Then, enter your phone number and click ‘Connect For free.’ Google calls your phone number and automatically connects you to the hardware store.

Google picks up the tab for calling costs (except mobile fees) and businesses don’t pay either. More details here.

Danny Sullivan Moving to SearchEngineLand.com

Danny did a great job keynoting yesterday’s PubCon, and at the end, he announced where his new hope will be going forward.

You’ll find Danny, Barry Schwartz and Chris Sherman at their new home Search Engine Land, come December 11th.

Danny truly is an awesome guy and everyone will follow him there. Go ahead and subscribe to his feed now, so you don’t miss out!

WebmasterWorld PubCon Coverage

Search Engine Roundtable is doing a great job recapping sessions from PubCon, including the panel I did with some of the best search bloggers in the industry.

If you’re not at the show, check out their coverage.

Barry even has a summary of Yahoo’s very cool party, invite only, party at Hugh Hefner’s penthouse suite at the Palms Hotel. Great food, free booze, music and some cool people. Thanks to Yahoo for hosting one of the best conference parties I’ve attended in a long time.

Google, Yahoo & MSN Now Support Same Sitemaps Standard

Breaking news today that Google, Yahoo and MSN have agreed to a single standard for XML sitemaps, according to Search Engine Watch.

As part of the announcement, the existing sitemaps protocol from Google gets a version upgrade to Sitemaps 0.9. However, no actual changes to the system have taken place…Anyone already using Google Sitemaps needn’t do anything different. The only change is now those sitemaps will be read by Microsoft and Yahoo, as well.

Let’s hope this is a start of a new trend by the top 3 to work together. TechCrunch has more and you can view a new web site dedicated to the new Sitemaps.