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.


Project Requirements:

  • Create a CMS that empowers editors to easily create articles built for social growth
  • Convert social growth into page views
  • Quickly build a new media property with a nonintrusive ad strategy that is monetizable but still preserves One Country's voice
  • Empower a small team by filling in missing roles through mentorship
  • Provide One Country with the tools it needs to flourish as a new media company despite budget and resource constraints

Our Solution

RebelMouse + One Country entered into a revenue-sharing partnership, adding to our robust Site Network.

While a revshare agreement may sound like simply splitting ad revenue, it's actually a methodical partnership that's becoming the way new media operates in 2017. This relationship allows RebelMouse to provide lean tech to partners like One Country, freeing up their teams from heavy developer support, UX designers, and sometimes even a head of product.

More importantly, it means RebelMouse serves as One Country's compass in the ever-changing media landscape. Our team isn't just account managers and product support, but rather a fully functioning creative agency with experts in content, social, audience development, and monetization.

RebelMouse shepherds One Country's site roadmap and works with business development and sales teams to create premium ad strategies. Additionally, RebelMouse helps One Country not only create new revenue streams, but introduces new partnerships and advises on any potential promising — or maybe too risky — deals. Through these new ventures, we advise the sales staff on how to package new deliverables and sell them at scale without disrupting One Country's usability and core goals.

It's an "all hands on deck" effort that's blossomed into a game-changing relationship. Rebels wake up with the One Country team every day and look at their metrics — everything from social insights to ad conversions — and use that data to tweak their content for success. And it's working.

Contributors to Growth

One Country already had the right content and mindset for viral success, but with the help of our Site Network, they experienced 200% revenue growth this year.

These are some of the key factors that contributed to that growth:

  1. Authoring tools. The RebelMouse Particle Accelerator and built-in ad management tools, combined with RebelMouse's understanding of how Facebook Instant Articles work, enables One Country to maximize revenue across their site as well as Instant Articles, particularly on viral content.
  2. Thoughtful A/B testing. The RebelMouse platform allows for site layouts to be A/B tested, which means implementing and testing different ad formats to achieve the right balance of user experience and revenue. One Country's ad mix includes programmatic banners, native ads, and video units woven into our Social UX for Media layout.
  3. Creative agency partnership. RebelMouse worked with One Country to implement smart header bidding to generate more competitive ad CPM rates. Since implementing header bidding, One Country's on-site RPM has seen a 115% increase in just over two months.

Join the RebelMouse Site Network + start reaching your monetization goals in days, not months.

Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

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At RebelMouse, we've solved this in a very elegant way. At the core level of our platform, we can natively render different layouts and track the exact differences in performance when comparing a test to your other layouts.

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Content saturation is an industry-wide problem, and the e-commerce space is no exception given that it's filled with big brands, small Etsy stores, and everyone in between all fighting for similar audiences. The best way to fight this symptom is to understand your audience and provide them with what they want.

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Revolutionizing E-commerce on RebelMouse

Whether you're a brand with a blog or a media company with a site, driving purchasing behavior and building an audience that uses your content to find things they love to buy is vital. We're very proud to have built out the same functionality that everyone is now used to on Instagram, with layovers on images that lead to products with attribution.

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Building Premium Communities and User Journeys on RebelMouse

RebelMouse is much more than just a replacement for a traditional CMS. Our platform is a tremendous community-building experience. Today's social ecosystem has given us a seemingly limitless number of premium creators who understand how to create gorgeous and relevant content that drives the growth of their own audiences. These creators and influencers are either experts in certain topics, or heavily engaged in targeted content that drives their interests. They're not only consuming the content they're passionate about, but they're contributing to the conversation, too. The new role of the editor is not just to cover the most important topics and people around their expertise, but also to invite those preferred influencers into their community and get them to participate in creating premium content.

Read our deck here...

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Dynamic Voting: Grow Traffic and Engagement Organically

Help your audience find its voice.

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Since the start of RebelMouse, we've been on a journey to create dynamic media that is easier for content creators to curate and amplify on social. It's why we've built an online engagement platform centered around the power of communities that thrive naturally in the digital ecosystem.

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RebelMouse Outperforms Every Other CMS. Here’s the Data to Prove It.

Our Core Web Vitals drastically outpace every competitor, and we have the receipts

In an effort to build user retention and increase conversions, publishers are making a common mistake. They're adding more features to their websites, including ad placements, but losing sight of the main revenue driver: user experience.

The key to unlocking user retention lies completely in site performance. Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but fail to deliver an experience that checks all their boxes and prioritizes their readers. It takes less than a second of delayed load time to turn away a user. This is why Google has made page speed a top ranking factor on search, and shepherded the entire open web's newfound prioritization on site performance.

Game Changer: Google's Core Web Vitals Announcement

Google cemented its seriousness about page experience with the announcement of its Core Web Vitals measurements in Google Search Console. Core Web Vitals are three specific metrics that Google uses to determine a site's overall usability. While these data points will evolve over time, the 2020 version of vitals consists of three specific metrics:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A website's LCP is the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.

First Input Delay (FID): This metric quantifies a user's experience when trying to interact with unresponsive pages. This usually occurs between First Meaningful Paint (FMP) and Time to Interactive (TTI) (more on what these two mean below). You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should haven an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift Score (CLS): CLS determines how often your users experience unexpected layout shifts or changes on a page. To ensure visual stability, you want your CLS score to be low. Google wants pages to maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1.

From Google.

Google says Core Web Vitals scores will be considered across every page, and will be a ranking factor in its Top Stories feature. While relevant quality content will always be the most important, the page experience ranking is now a make-or-break metric for your site's survival.

"A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search." —From Google's page experience announcement, May 2020

Core Web Vitals will determine every site's performance score. You can see your site's Core Web Vitals specifically via Google Search Console, but your website's overall page performance is measured using Google's PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse tools.

At RebelMouse, we guarantee a performance score of 90 or higher via PageSpeed Insights. To do this, we've built out a platform infrastructure that exceeds industry standards on Google's key metrics, particularly its Core Web Vitals, outperforming most industry leaders.

You can read more about how we've mastered Google's KPIs here. But the truth is in the data. Below is table that provides a snapshot into how RebelMouse-powered sites score:

And here's what the scores look like for some of the biggest sites on the open web:

As you can see, there's a lot of data Google takes into account even outside of Core Web Vitals. Here's a quick summary of the other important metrics that Google trusts to measure page performance:

First Contentful Paint (FCP): This metric measures the time from click to the time when a user's browser renders the first bit of content from the Document Object Model (DOM), which is your site's HTML structure. According to Google, this is an important milestone for your readers because it provides signals that your page is loading.

First Meaningful Paint (FMP): This is the amount of time it takes the most important content, what Google calls "hero elements," to load on site. Hero elements are different for every site, but should be intuitive based on your content. This metric helps determine your site's usability.

Time to Interactive (TTI): This is the most important metric to keep an eye on. This is when the site is fully rendered and ready for user action. This is a critical point when slow load time can occur, usually because JavaScript or other complex content hasn't fully rendered. So, in short, think of TTI as how long it takes for your site to load in its entirety.

Total Blocking Time (TBT): TBT measures a page's load responsiveness to quantify how long a page is non-interactive prior to becoming interactive. You want your site to have a low TBT to maintain its usability.

Speed Index (SI): SI is the measurement of how quickly the contents of a page are populated. You want your speed index score to be as low as possible.

Creating quality content is only half the battle in 2020, and publishers are already burdened with the around-the-clock task of creating content that resonates. This is why quality content must be supported by modern technology that can keep up with the speed of the web. RebelMouse provides publishers with a CMS that supports the new content lifecycle with an editorial suite designed for reach on site, search, and social.

Click here to read more about our modern approach to web performance. If you want to make performance a priority, request a proposal today. We can easily transform your site into one of the fastest on the web, giving you increased user retention and better conversion rates than ever before.

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