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How to Add YouTube Feeds via RSS

Easily add videos to your articles on RebelMouse

Since YouTube is one of the most popular social networks around, it's likely you'll want to add a YouTube channel's feed to your site at some point. Additionally, you may want to add a YouTube playlist to your site. Both options are possible on RebelMouse thanks to RSS Feeds. Here's how it works.

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Update: “Show Less” Function Removed From Layout & Design Tool

This new change helps improve the infinite scroll experience

As a RebelMouse client, you're likely familiar with our Social UX for Media layout, which includes an infinite scroll design that allows users to expand and collapse articles as they consume content.

To improve this experience, we've removed the "Show Less" function, which previously collapsed lead media, post, and/or post content elements in our Layout & Design tool. Now, if you uncheck Show Full Post Body, the "Show More" function will be enabled and the "Show Less" function will no longer be available.

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RebelMouse CEO: Reimagining Diversity “Starts in the Office”

Why women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community will restructure workplace norms

Entering a new decade means a new opportunity to change how we approach diversity. In a joint interview alongside Leanne Pittsford of Lesbians Who Tech, RebelMouse founder and CEO Andrea Breanna said that the only way to fight patriarchal dominance is to encourage and nurture more women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace, particularly in tech.

Over half of RebelMouse's employees are women or identify as LGBTQ. Read our full diversity and inclusion report here.

Check out the full video below.

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Mailchimp Free Users: You May Need to Upgrade Under New Pricing Plan

Features previously available in Mailchimp's Free plan have changed

Mailchimp has recently updated their pricing structure, and template customization features that were originally supported in the Free plan have been moved to the Standard plan.

The change means that any Free users will need to upgrade to the Standard plan that currently costs $14.99 per month. Beyond template customization, the following RebelMouse features will also no longer be available if you're using their Free plan:

  • Sending emails using Discovery
  • The ability to send daily and weekly newsletters
  • Turning a post into a newsletter using Entry Editor

While it may be an inconvenience to upgrade your Mailchimp account to a paid plan, consider this a small investment in a strategy with winning potential. Think of a newsletter as an extension of your site's content that puts the experience back in the hands of your readers. After all, users prefer to read and consume content on their own time in familiar interfaces, like Gmail. Click here to learn more about crafting an effective email strategy.

If you have any questions about Mailchimp's new changes and how they will work with RebelMouse's integration, email support@rebelmouse.com or contact your account manager today.

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How to Make Your Top Menu Disappear on Scroll

Create an un-sticky Top Bar using Layout & Design tool

Depending on how you structure your content, it can be helpful to have your site's header and menu bar disappear as readers scroll. We call this un-sticky Top Bar behavior. Here's an example of what this looks like:

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Boost Your Performance With RebelMouse’s New AMP-Rendering Engine

Using React + Node, AMP-powered sites provide a next-level user experience

RebelMouse is proud to announce a new rendering engine driven by Google's lightning-fast AMP format. In our relentless pursuit of world-class site performance, our team of developers put together a faster experience for our clients that includes a more cohesive codebase, quicker development output, and increased reliability and overall performance.

To do this, we used React and Node — JavaScript languages that appeal to a broad pool of developers. The same code can run on both servers and browsers, and allows us to leverage modern front end optimization tools.

Here's a quick rundown of what React, AMP, and Node are, and how RebelMouse has used them to create an AMP-focused front end experience that's fit for the next decade of publishing.

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Publishers No Longer Have to Submit Their Site to Google News

Google's Publisher Center creates new opportunities for audience growth

Just before the start of the next decade, Google announced an important change to its Google News offering with the launch of Google Publisher Center. The new interface merges Google News Producer and Google News Publisher into one to streamline the partnership process for publishers.

Overall, the change should make it easier for publishers to manage their Google News settings, including updating themes, directing URLs to section pages, and configuring user permissions. Read the full list of features here.

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Custom HTML Class Names for Rows and Columns

Assign attributes to your site's rows and columns

You can now add custom HTML class names to rows and columns in RebelMouse's Layout & Design tool. HTML classes can be used for many things, particularly to style elements within a wrapper that has a certain set of CSS properties, or to trigger JavaScript.

This feature eliminates the need to use a separate Element Wrapper to add a class to a set of elements, because the row or column itself can call that specific ID you would typically assign to the Element Wrapper. This creates cleaner, more efficient code in our Layout & Design tool.

You can find the HTML Class within the Properties card of your row or column:

You can also highlight more than one row or column at a time to assign it to the same HTML Class.

This is how it looks in Document Object Model (DOM):

For a refresher on all of the elements available in our Layout & Design tool, click here. If you have any questions about this feature, email support@rebelmouse.com or talk with your account manager today.

How to Create Author Badges

Customize every author profile for a personalized approach

The digital publishing ecosystem is a universe of creators. At RebelMouse, we've created a collaborative publishing experience that allows creators, editors, and influencers to work together in a community-style, customizable workflow.

We recently updated our community features with Author Badges, a feature that gives authors on your site a unique image to compliment their avatar. For example, if an author tends to write about "Trending" topics, you could assign a "Trending" badge to them.

To add an Author Badge from our Badges Dashboard, first navigate to /core/r_dashboard/badges on your site. From there, click the blue ⨁ icon in the bottom right-hand corner to create a new Author Badge.

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What You Need to Know About Facebook News

The social platform's dedicated news tab is now being offered to select publishers

It's estimated that 43% of American adults get their news on Facebook. With an upcoming U.S. presidential election in 2020, the massive social platform has an opportunity to mend fences with its reputation after 2016's fake news fallout and corresponding Cambridge Analytica scandal. In October 2019, Facebook announced the launch of Facebook News, a dedicated tab for news on the platform that aims to give users more control over the news they read.

Facebook News launched to only about 200,000 U.S. users, with articles from local publications in major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Houston. Roughly 200 publishers are working with Facebook on the initial rollout. The feature is still being tested and is currently only available on mobile.

According to an announcement from Facebook on the feature, users can expect to find a wide range of content on Facebook News, including:

  • Today's Stories chosen by a team of journalists to catch you up on the news throughout the day.
  • Personalization based on the news you read, share, and follow, so you can find new interests and topics, and so Facebook News is fresh and interesting every time you open it.
  • Topic sections to dive deeper into business, entertainment, health, science & tech, and sports.
  • Your Subscriptions, a section for people who have linked their paid news subscriptions to their Facebook account.
  • Controls to hide articles, topics, and publishers you don't want to see.

Some of the articles served to users on Facebook will be curated by humans, but the feed will mostly be organized through an algorithm that should become more personalized based on each reader's behavior.

Currently there are several hoops to jump through to become a Facebook News publisher. Pages must serve a large audience, follow Facebook's integrity standards, and be registered in the platform's News Page Index to be considered.

Click here to begin the registration process for your Page to become part of Facebook News.

At RebelMouse, we're dedicated to sustainable growth across the entire digital publishing ecosystem. We power sites with a rich user experience, but also enable our publishers to create content that easily travels across platforms, including Facebook. We're closely monitoring this newest feature from Facebook, particularly the screening process for publishers to be accepted into the program. If you have any questions about Facebook News and its current rollout, please email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

How to Add + Style Horizontal Rules

Organize your text with horizontal rules

Horizontal rules help editorial teams build content that is both visually appealing and structurally solid as they break up articles into clear and understandable sections that audiences can easily identify.

Horizontal rules are easy to add and style using our Entry Editor and our Layout & Design tool. From Entry Editor, simply click the Horizontal Rule icon in the toolbar and a horizontal demarcation will be placed within your text.

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Inside Our Fastly Recovery Plan

How we offer reliable site security

The purpose of our disaster recovery plan is to prevent downtimes with Amazon Web Service (AWS) that directly affect site reliability. We pride ourselves on our ability to reliably keep traffic flowing to our client's sites, even in the event of a disruption.

We partner with Fastly — our CDN provider — for our failover plan, which is based on rerouting traffic directly to our servers in case of an outage.

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How to Include Interactive Elements in Posts

Enhance your articles with rich and creative media

Every article is a fresh chance to grab new readers and nurture loyal followers. This is why we give creators every opportunity to build content rich with media elements that enhance every reader's experience.

Add More Layers to Your Content

You can easily add interactive elements, like charts, to posts on our platform. For example, if you need to embed iframe code into a post, this can be done via our Add Media Bar. To do so, click the code icon (< >):

A text box will appear so you can insert your code:

Embedded Code Across Platforms

One important thing to keep in mind is that Google AMP, AppleNews, and Facebook Instant Articles will not always support embedded code. So if you use an iframe, it's best to turn off distribution to those channels for that particular post. If you have a lot of posts that require embedded code, this could be problematic for growth across those important platforms.

If you do want to use an iframe on a post destined for Google AMP distribution, it can be possible if the iframe is not at the top of the page or within the first 75% of the viewport when the page is scrolled to the top (whichever is smaller). AMP is a fast technology designed for mobile users and iframes are loaded using arbitrary timing that AMP's technology cannot ensure. For this reason, it's suggested that iframes be included in places that are not visible by users upon load.

If you have an article that needs to include an iframe at the top of the page, or within the first 75% of the viewport, AMP can be turned off for that individual article within Entry Editor.

If you don't need an interactive chart to be interactive in nature, can turn it into an image and upload it directly to your post. This way it will work on all platforms, including Google AMP, Apple News, and Facebook Instant Articles. This option, when possible, is ideal to ensure you're optimized for page speed.

Take Advantage of Shortcodes

Another great way to embed media is through our shortcodes functionality. Click here to learn more about shortcodes. Shortcodes can also inserted using the Add Media Bar. Click the brackets icon ([ ]) to choose the shortcode you want to use.

Here's an example of a chart on an article page that's been inserted using a shortcode:

If you have any questions about how to add interactive elements to your content, please email support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

Shortcodes Dashboard: Dynamic Media in Just a Few Clicks

Create multidimensional content with easy-to-find shortcodes

We believe static media is dead, and that every piece of content should be multidimensional and engaging. This is why our platform enables creators so they can add dynamic media to their content in easy and efficient ways.

One simple way to add interactive content to any post is through the use of shortcodes. Shortcodes are small snippets of code that are easier to remember than longer sequences. They typically will activate a feature or embed media into an article.

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How to Add Scalable Vector Graphics to RebelMouse

Quickly add an SVG to any page

A Scalable Vector Graphic, or SVG, is a type of graphic format that gives you more flexibility than standard formats like JPEG or PNG.

To add an SVG to your RebelMouse site, first go to your Layout & Design tool. Next, open the SVG in a code editor and copy the entire <svg> element. Then, add a Custom HTML element to your layout and paste in the SVG code:

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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Remote Employee

Tips from our CEO on making the most of an office-free lifestyle

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 66% of companies now allowing remote work and 16% operating completely office-free. RebelMouse is one of those fully remote companies, and over the years we've mastered how to stay close to each other despite being spread across more than a dozen countries. We believe working remotely is good for both our personal lives and our productivity. Read more about this here.

Still, working free from the shackles of an office environment doesn't mean every day is a dance party in your pajamas from 9 to 5. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges just like any other job.

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Canvas Page and Shareable Element: An Easier Way to Organize

In our Layout & Design tool, you have the option to create new pages and reuse them anywhere within your templates. With this update, we wanted to create a clear distinction between what is used as a Canvas page — a blank page, open to any design and structure — and a Shareable Element — a block or page created specifically to be reused as a module within another page or site.

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Sections Dashboard: Ability to Lock Posts

We now have a new toggle in our Sections dashboard under Edit Section that lets you lock the posts of an entire section once they're published. The idea behind this is to limit a writer's ability to change the content of an article once it's live, and for administrators to have better control over edits made to their site.

You can easily enable the "lock posts" feature for a section by going to /core/r_dashboard/sections and toggling on the Lock posts after publishing switch.

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NEW! Beta Posts Dashboard: Filtering and Search UI Upgrade

New Filters in Posts Dashboard

We've implemented new filters that allow users to easily find exactly what they need in their posts dashboard. You can now customize your search results by:

  • Creators You Follow
  • Rating
  • Post Status
  • Post Type
  • Period
  • Sections
Here's what the new filter menu looks like:

Easy-to-Use Search Queries

In the same slick user interface, you can also create search queries and combine them with your filtered results:

  • Post Search
  • Creator Search With Ajax Autocomplete
  • Community Search

This is an exciting step forward in enhancing the editorial experience for our users. It should now be much simpler to narrow down results to exactly what you're looking for.

Here's how the workflow looks in action:

If you have any questions about these dashboard updates, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

Higher SEO Audit Scores With RebelMouse

SEMrush Reports Help Keep Our Sites Optimized for Search

Even the most brilliant and successful marketers will admit that chasing a perfect search strategy is a full-time job in and of itself. Google's algorithm is fickle at best, with frequent algorithm updates that can turn a site's rankings completely sideways.

At RebelMouse, we obsess over Google's algorithm updates and the latest SEO best practices so that our publishers can focus on doing what they do best: create quality content. This means our traffic experts work around the clock to make sure our sites are optimized for search, and are even a few steps ahead of what Google's next move will be.

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Our Obsessive Approach to Caching

Site updates appear in a flash with our cache process

When it comes to growing your site traffic and audience, we all tend to think of the same things: great content, beautiful design, fast load times, interactive experiences, etc. But one thing that often gets overlooked is the role of caching. A web cache is the temporary storage of web documents, like images, article pages, and multimedia assets, to reduce unnecessary repeat loading from a server. Any platform that doesn't focus on caching performance usually has poor uptime stats, which means that you're going to experience downtime issues.

RebelMouse obsesses over these things so that you don't have to, and that's why we're able to handle massive traffic spikes without any degradation in service. Just ask RebelMouse-powered PAPER Magazine, who recently had an article receive 20 million page views in one day (!) with no noticeable change in site performance.

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A PSA to Brands: Control Your Context

Resonate with your audience the right way

Programmatic Advertising Is a Gamble

For years, brands have relied on display ads and programmatic levers as a cheap and easy solution to spend large portions of marketing dollars. But the major frustration with programmatic advertising has always been the lack of control and transparency on where ads actually show up. And as banner blindness spreads, ad-blocking technology becomes more prevalent, and subpar or broken sites crop up at increasingly high rates, programmatic advertising will only become more expensive, unsustainable, and a huge risk.

According to a recent study from Integral Ad Science, when your programmatic ads happen to show up in high-quality environments, it could lead to a 30% lift in brand recall. But on the flip side, when your ads appear in low-quality environments, the consequences can be brutal: Ads in low-quality environments were perceived 74% less favorably, and even harshly, compared to the same ads seen on high-quality sites. Overall, users were four times less likely to think a brand cared about them after seeing the brand surface next to inappropriate content. Finding your ad in poor-quality environments creates a stronger impression among audiences, and it's not the kind of impression you want. Plus, it means that your paid marketing needs to work harder to boost your brand reputation, convert customers, and do damage control.

It's Time for Brands to Become Publishers and Take Control

As a brand marketer, you need to reclaim ownership of where and how your messaging shows up. One key way to control your context is to become a publisher. According to NewsWhip, 70% of people would rather learn about a brand through content than through ads, and 68% feel more positive about a company after engaging with the brand's content. And it's a good time for brands to go all in and create an advantage with content, too. Now, more than ever, page performance matters for audience reach, retention, and revenue. Google, along with Facebook, have explicitly made page speed a factor in search results and News Feed, while site visitors will quickly leave a page that takes more than three seconds to load. Media companies that have survived in the past with broken sites now feel the consequences of their low-performing properties due to their inability to provide solid returns to advertisers.

As a CMS platform and creative agency, RebelMouse partners with brand teams on best practices and innovative ways to build content experiences that will break through and resonate with audiences. For example, our work with United Airlines has produced a better-performing site and helped them beat out media companies to win travel search phrases for organic audience growth. Our partnership is a key reason why United Airlines' content now drives the most web engagement in their industry.

Choose Your Media Partners Wisely

If you plan to rely on media partners to place your messaging, then be selective and spend on the right context. Build direct relationships with quality publishers that prioritize the user experience and know how to pair editorial with premium advertising (in particular sponsored content) to maximize eyeballs and engagement for brands. RebelMouse powers a tight ecosystem of quality publishers, like PAPER Magazine and Motherly, that have built valuable, new media properties. We can connect brands into this network of quality sites to execute premium and effective campaigns at scale.

Build for the Future

Moving away from the inefficient world and disadvantages of programmatic advertising and creating a sustainable content marketing strategy is not easy — it takes organizational commitment, patience, and the right technologies. If you're a brand marketer, reach out and learn how RebelMouse's full-stack content marketing solution is ideal for your growth into a publishing powerhouse. If you're a media company and sell premium advertising, guide your advertising partners on how to build mutual value on your site when they're tempted to blindly toss marketing dollars on cheaper impressions.

Turn Casual Visitors Into Loyal Subscribers With Newsletters

Extend your content with a winning email strategy

For publishers, the effort that goes into creating dynamic, quality content isn't a short-term game. The goal is to always convert casual visitors into committed subscribers. This means content must not only be quick to load, but easily accessible across all platforms.

An email newsletter is a great extension of your site's content that puts the experience back in the hands of readers. After all, users prefer to read and consume content on their own time in familiar interfaces, like Gmail. Data shows that 81% of small and medium businesses rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel. It isn't just a great idea for small businesses either — 49% of consumers say they wouldn't mind regularly receiving a promotional email from a brand they like.

But what makes a successful email campaign? According to Campaign Monitor, these are the averages you want to be seeing:

While these benchmarks may seem low at first glance, the remarkable upside to email marketing is its ability to reach a targeted audience. The users that are willing to take the extra clicks to interact with your campaign are more likely to take further steps to continue engaging with your brand. This makes content strategy around emails even trickier. Content creators need to ensure they're curating the right content for emails to maximize audience attention.

At RebelMouse, we recommend a newsletter strategy that breathes new life into your most relevant and popular articles to increase the consumption of even more content. Here's how it works.

A Winning Newsletter Strategy: Axios

RebelMouse is proud to have launched some of the biggest new media companies to date, including Axios. The news publisher has mastered the art of the newsletter, shattering industry standards with their daily email updates. According to Nieman Journalism Lab, out of the 10 million unique monthly visitors that visit their site, Axios has 1.5 million non-unique subscriptions across all 19 of their newsletters.

One way Axios is able to do this is through their daily campaigns, Axios AM and Axios PM, which feature the latest top stories of the previous 12 or so hours. Here's what's unique about their daily emails:

  • You Don't Have to Click Every Headline: Each story is summarized so the reader doesn't have to leave their email interface to get the whole story. There are, however, CTAs that allow you to go in-depth on a topic, share it to social, and/or read supplemental content. This strategy allows readers to spend more time reading the email, clicking through only when they're already engaged with a subject.
  • The Newsletters Are Stored on Site: Axios features its "Newsletter" section in the top navigation of their site. It's there that full browser versions of every email are archived and available to read at any time. This means page views and traditional web traffic data can be captured on newsletter content.

Replicate This Content Flow on RebelMouse

RebelMouse's CMS makes creating a newsletter content workflow like Axios easy to create and maintain. Our Entry Editor has functionality that can turn any post into a newsletter. So whether it's crafting daily, weekly, or even monthly emails, each newsletter can be created to replicate the experience of an article page.

By converting a RebelMouse post into a newsletter, you'll automatically get a browser version and a post permalink for the article. This means you can capture page view data and keep an easy-to-read archive of every newsletter in a dedicated section, very similar to Axios' method.

Modernize Your Email Strategy With RebelMouse

RebelMouse's Newsletter dashboard makes it easy for you to set up and manage your newsletters to keep audiences engaged with your content. We offer out-of-the-box Mailchimp, Sailthru, and WhatCounts integrations so you can customize the frequency of how often you contact your subscribers, and we make it easy to maintain your third-party email groups, lists, and template designs.

If you want to update your email marketing campaigns to grow a more loyal readership, request a proposal today and let's start working together. If you already publish on RebelMouse, email support@rebelmouse.com if you need help setting up your newsletters.

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NEW! Force AMP on Mobile and Desktop: Global and per Post Control

It's become very evident how much having Google AMP enabled weighs in on a site's PageSpeed Insights score. Because of this, we've made it even easier for users to enable and disable AMP-only post pages. This means that your site's post pages can now render using Google's super-fast format when accessed through a mobile or desktop device. You can see a live example of this on our founder and CEO's LGBTQ+ site.

Check out the screenshots below to see how you can control both the global output and override it per post as needed.

Here's where you control the global output in our Layout & Design tool:

And here's how to toggle it on or off in Entry Editor for control over individual posts:

We also support forcing AMP on desktop users:

If you have any questions about this feature, email support@rebelmouse.com.

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