The Fluid, Creative Agency Inside of RebelMouse

Growing up, my dad started a software company — which gave me the chance to learn how to write code from a very young age. I loved it immediately. The act of creating! A lot of people think of coding as a math or science, but I have always seen it as an artistic language. From the moment I touched code, it was an act of expression for me. My first code was a "Choose Your Own Adventure" experience — it was truly an act of writing and a different way of telling a story.

What I realized quickly as I entered my career in my late teens and early 20s, was that people wanted to put me in a box as just "the developer." I always wanted much more than to just write code and be told what tech should do. I had already worked on viral projects (Dog Island is particularly fun) and built a real eCommerce business for Palo Alto Software.


As I looked at the opportunities of who I wanted to work with, the way Jonah Peretti and Ken Lerer (co-founders with Arianna Huffington on HuffPost) approached tech was exactly me. As CTO of HuffPost, I had design and product reporting to me and was responsible for overall traffic. I worked every day with an amazing editing team so that we could collaborate on how to build a massive and loyal audience together. It was far, far more than just the developer box.

At RebelMouse, I've been able to put together a team of people who are just like me. Most of the team, regardless of their position and title, are technical. Developers manage accounts directly, working not only on product, but strategy, audience growth, and revenue. It's possible because, like me, they don't self-identify as developers in their heart of hearts. The result is an amazing team of people who have fallen in love with particular aspects of the media and content business. Those aspects could be anything — how to get the most out of Instant Articles, what's possible with Google AMP, growth hacking Instagram, or wiring your site for maximum monetization.

In January I closed our SoHo office in NYC because I believe so strongly in distributed teams. We have no bar for geography when we look for talent on the team, but we have a super-high bar on talent. Having an office confused the culture and accidentally excluded our brilliant people who weren't there to hop in a meeting room. Now we are closer and more connected than ever, and we stay linked together across 26 countries. We are fluid between roles and time zones. We also work with clients who are meshed together with their teams. We have fun too, by the way — most of our calls are filled with laughter as we figure out clever things together.

We have a very unique approach and it works for the awesome brands we work with like United, BlackRock, Ernst and Young, and many more. Our creative team strategy also works with amazing media companies like Axios, Dodo, EcoWatch, One Country, and a massive site network we are building. It combines technical skills with artistic creativity. We are inspired by intuition and gut, but we get to check everything against data, and be able to see what is working across a huge set of categories and verticals.

These are the specific services we take on at RebelMouse. More on that below. Let's create something viral + awesome together: creative@rebelmouse.com.

Redesign to Increase Website Traffic

Our philosophy on site redesign is to follow a pattern we've trademarked called Social UX for Media. We wove a lot of social connections into our product. We've done that by studying what users like and what isn't working. We use that framework to make it easy for anyone to launch a site that is as intuitive to users as scrolling through Instagram.

Media sites got too complicated over time, and added too much garbage that we had to clean up before reaching a crisp + effective tone. What is your navigation structure? How does that communicate to users what it means to share your content? The answer is a mix of design/UX and branding to find a real fit with users so you can reach the next level of growth in your business.

Sign up for this service here.

Audience Development

We've developed proprietary tech that identifies influencers across social platforms, and even allows you to form relationships with those pages right from our Entry Editor. We've also got a team of social + audience growth experts who are obsessed with traffic. They can work closely with you on everything from growing Instagram followers to securing repeat viral reach for your content via paid and organic traffic.

Sign up for this service here.

Website Monetization and Implementation

We review all your ad units and CTAs. How are you set up on Instant Articles, AMP, and newsletters? What ad networks are you using? What is your premium sales pitch, product, and deck? We go through everything to discover all the different ways we can optimize your revenue potential, and we help with implementation along the way.

Sign up for this service here.

Custom Web Design and Integrations

We built RebelMouse to be as flexible and fluid as we are. That means if we believe in the idea you have or the new feature you want to build, we can not only build it, but make the idea better through implementation. The devil is always in the details, but the magic is too. It's about how you find something with a closed viral loop that you can release to your audience. It's tricky and requires our fluid approach to really see success.

Sign up for this service here.

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How Axios Built on RebelMouse

The Axios founding team is composed of the industry veterans who built Politico and shaped The New York Times. They had a vision for building a next-generation media site that would not only win in the world of social, but would also build real loyalty and a subscriber base.

Industry: News Media
Headquarters: Washington, DC
Website: Axios.com

Axios is a new media company delivering vital, trustworthy news and analysis in the most efficient, illuminating, and shareable ways possible. They offer a mix of original and smartly narrated coverage of media trends, tech, business, and politics with expertise, voice, and smart brevity — on a new and innovative mobile platform.



With some of the best writers in the world, Axios knew that, to be successful, they would need to provide next-generation authoring tools as well as a next-generation front-end experience for their readers.

Project Requirements:

  • Get to launch quickly while still having tremendous depth in technology
  • Build a next-generation media property
  • Empower editors with technology for breaking news
  • Build a CMS that manages and elegantly assembles content into articles
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RebelMouse vs. WordPress VIP

After building the product for Huffington Post, and owning the product and engineering groups at AOL after we were acquired, it was clear to me there was a huge gap between what the current CMS offering gave the world and what the world needed. Five years later we are at scale, moving the needle and doing to WordPress what Airbnb did to Craigslist.

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Building Relationships to Build a Better Future

It's far too easy to get lost in a medley of metrics when you work in digital media. We're guilty of it here too. We harp on client success stories, software updates, audience reach, revenue, and each and every Facebook algorithm update that comes our way all the time.

But there's one thing that really makes us tick here at RebelMouse: The relationships we build with our clients. We pride ourselves on working with brilliant minds as we collectively build a better future through media. We are very open + vocal about our ethics and beliefs here. We fire clients whose morals contradict ours, and hire those whose we support. It's part of what makes it easy to get up and work toward a better future each morning.

This post is dedicated to our beautiful clients, and the love we have for each other. To hear a client sing praise about their appreciation for a Rebel team member gives us just as many goosebumps as seeing an entirely green Google Analytics home page. So here are a few stories that gave us all the feels this week at RebelMouse:

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How One Country Turned a Fan Following into a Monetization Powerhouse

Country isn't a zip code. Country is a state of mind. That's the core strategy behind One Country — a new media company dedicated to celebrating country music culture through not just music, but fashion, food, and lifestyle.

One Country was originally on WordPress before switching to RebelMouse. But after enjoying publishing on the RebelMouse platform for several years, their ownership changed and One Country's future became uncertain. Everyone — including RebelMouse founder Paul Berry, who served on One Country's advisory board at the time — knew One Country was a powerful asset with the potential to turn a loyal following into real revenue.

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PSA: You Could Lose Access to Instant Articles Monetization

Facebook recently updated their Monetization Eligibility Standards, and is now cutting access to monetization features for Instant Articles on Pages that are currently violating the new guidelines.

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NEW: Organize Your Content For Max Success

We're obsessed with optimizing your content for maximum performance both on site and on social. We've added two new features to the RebelMouse platform to help supercharge your audience.

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Your Website Roadmap Is Outdated: Why You Need the RebelMouse Compass

Technology continues to accelerate the way we consume + interact with media. And while media companies are looking for a way to keep up with the times, they're following a roadmap that ultimately leads them nowhere. They're caught in a hamster wheel chasing these ever-changing trends.

What works within the social sphere changes constantly, not to mention fast. We've seen it with the recent big push to video, mobile's domination, paid subscription models, etc. But trends are fickle, and with the constant algorithm updates, platforms steal most of the spotlight — taking focus away from vital audience building and monetization on sites.

RebelMouse was built in the age of social, so we are well equipped to handle these disruptions. Our clients are seeing crazy results amidst the changing social landscape because we've mastered the right mix of strategy + tech to propel them into the future.

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Are You Doing Enough to Monetize Your Website’s Content?

We live in the age of social where Facebook and Google dominate online ads, search, and traffic. If your corporate blog is stuck on an old paradigm, you're being left in the dust. But if your site generates ample traffic and has a loyal audience, your content is valuable and monetizable.

In today's digital world, content consumption and $$$ opportunity goes beyond the website. The question is, are you doing enough to monetize your website everywhere audiences are discovering your content? Here are some things to keep in mind:
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Increase Website Traffic and Performance with RebelMouse

We are the #1 WordPress VIP alternative. RebelMouse was built in the age of social, to keep up with the speed of the tech giants. Unlike WordPress and other custom CMS solutions, RebelMouse is a centralized, social platform that propels clients into the future. Our clients are seeing amazing success when they switch from WordPress to RebelMouse. The stats speak for themselves.

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