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.

You're almost there! Fill out the form below and a Rebel will contact you within one business day.

x

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
Keep reading... Show less

Important: Mandatory Facebook Upgrade Arrives in 2018

The media world is ever-evolving, but one thing is abundantly clear: Facebook and Google, the almighty duopoly, have a firm grip on digital ad revenue. While successful media companies and brands struggle to meet revenue goals, the platforms are reaching new heights. As the state of digital media continues to puzzle publishers in 2017, it can be hard to strategize with all the changes and updates these mega platforms throw our way.

We often see media companies frantically trying to adopt a new strategy to monetize without knowing how to successfully execute. Case in point: The pivot-to-video trend, which has really been more like a pivot to ad-backed digital media, is causing editorial teams to take drastic measures prematurely.

RebelMouse is here to make life easier, and help you with your strategy along the way. Our team of experts live and breathe digital content. We stay ahead of all the algorithm updates, the platform changes, etc., so you can focus on producing great content. We help you take back control of your content and stay abreast of the best monetization strategies so you can bring in real revenue.

One of Facebook's recent updates makes it mandatory to switch to their Monetization Manager by February 2018. We'll walk you through this process so this change doesn't affect your monetization strategy.

Keep reading... Show less

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.

Keep reading... Show less

NEW! Google Analytics Tracking for Facebook Instant Articles

We're a bunch of traffic junkies here at RebelMouse. We geek out over data, and we want our clients to geek out too over the insights we provide them. That's why we obsess over our clients' metrics on a daily basis. It's our belief that a clear understanding of data will drive strategy adjustments that lead to real audience growth. But this means that your traffic overview has to be as clear and easy to read as possible. Enter one of our latest updates.

A lot of our clients prefer to use a separate Google Analytics profile to track their Facebook Instant Articles traffic, and now this is incredibly easy to set up in our platform. We have a sophisticated Google Analytics integration that can accurately track every one of your UTM mediums, including Google AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and traditional website traffic. It's a feature that, if we're honest, Google Analytics does very poorly on its own.

Keep reading... Show less

You're almost there! Fill out the form below and a Rebel will contact you within one business day.

x

Strategy Services from Experts in Growth

At RebelMouse, we talk a lot about being born in the age of social. We went viral in 2012 as being the first content aggregator and the internet's first "social front page."

Keep reading... Show less

Meet the Investors Behind RebelMouse

RebelMouse founder and CEO, Paul Berry, was the former CTO of HuffPost where he led product development. Paul has managed small, agile teams for 20 years, but has also led teams of 450+ people. He understands how engineers, product, design, UX, and editorial teams can come together with chemistry that produces results.

RebelMouse is fortunate to be backed by an impressive list of investors, including Ken Lerer, Eric Hippeau, Jonah Peretti, Jordan Levy, Fred Harmon, and more. See the full list below.

Keep reading... Show less

Video Ads = Toxic

Facebook has implemented a ton of changes recently that have been affecting publishers' reach. And while it seems nearly impossible to figure out a winning strategy while juggling all of the platform's algorithm updates, one thing is abundantly clear:

Video ads are hurting your reach.

We're now finding that if you have a video ad on your site period, the Facebook gods are not going to favor you — and you'll most likely see a drop in reach.

Keep reading... Show less

The Reasons Why Indie Publishers Flourish on RebelMouse

We care about you. We care about you having a sustainable business.

And that means we care about everything — from revenue to traffic to how you can be sustainable long term. By using data across all our publishers, we can help you understand what's happening in the media world, how to leverage Facebook's algorithm changes, where your audience lives, and more. The digital landscape is constantly changing, and we are always studying its changes to help indie publishers break through the barriers of bureaucracy. Our goal is to give you an unfair advantage through badass tech that helps you understand how traffic distribution works. So you can get your voice heard. Loudly.

One of the best parts of living in the age of new media, and more importantly living within the social ecosystem, is that everyone has a chance to go viral. The chains surrounding public content that were once monopolized by corporations and agencies have now been put back into the hands of the users.

Keep reading... Show less