Back in January, Rue Magazine founder and editor in chief Crystal Gentilello launched her next endeavor, Rue Daily, just after the magazine had celebrated its two-year anniversary.
Editor at Large spoke with Gentilello about the new site, and how the company has grown and changed in the last two years.
What was your vision when you first started Rue? Has that vision changed?
In 2010, I had the idea to create an online shelter magazine as a way to provide inspiration for an interior design community eager for fresh content. Armed with social media savvy and a talented team by my side, we launched Rue’s premiere issue to a wildly successful debut of 10 million page views. Our mission was, and still is, to be a resource for designers and design enthusiasts to create their most beautiful life. I wanted Rue to be overflowing with inspiration while at the same time leave readers feeling prepared to tackle their own design projects. That goal first manifested itself in the form of a bimonthly online magazine. Now, we’ve expanded our reach with the launch of Rue Daily to offer inspiration on a daily basis alongside our usual  full-length issues.
What was your inspiration behind starting Rue Daily?
After each issue, the emails, Facebook comments, and Tweets would come filtering in asking when the next issue was going to release. It became obvious quite quickly that our readers wanted more! And we listened. Of course, we knew we couldn't ever leave behind our roots as a magazine—Rue Daily would just be a welcome addition to the brand. We're still so humbled at the overwhelmingly positive response, and as a team are really enjoying the additional opportunities to connect with the industry and inspire our readers. Rue, both as a magazine and as a daily content site, is an absolute labor of love. From searching out the most beautiful homes or travel destinations to creating shopping guides to interviewing our favorite tastemakers, we love each piece and the chance to interact more with our readers.
Do you feel readers respond differently to the monthly flipbook format vs. the new format?
The response has been slightly different. When we'd have a publication every month or so, we'd get a lot of feedback at once. A week or so would pass, and we'd get a lot of comments with folks saying they were excited to spend their weekend curled up with a glass of wine and the new Rue. Now, we hear from so many people that Rue Daily is how they start their day. Coffee, check emails, and see what's new on Rue! We love that, and are glad we were able to jump from being seen as a monthly treat to a daily routine. After we launched Rue Daily, we released our Small Spaces issue one week later. We received a lot of gratitude from readers who were thankful that we were keeping our magazine format as well. We pride ourselves on really having created a brand that includes something for everyone at any time.
Is the editorial content/voice different with Rue Daily?
While the daily content site includes quite a few shorter pieces (for example, room tours vs. home tours), the voice is always the same. We work very hard to be consistent across the board—whether it is my Editor's Letter in the issue, a history lesson on the daily content site, or a Tweet—we make sure to keep everything very cohesive.
How has your team changed? Are there new staff members?
I am so abundantly grateful for the talented team I have the privilege of working with! Each person brings something so different and new to the table, and I really try to nurture his or her individual talents and interests. You can read more about the Rue team right here.
How is Rue Daily funded?
Rue (the magazine and daily) is 100% self-funded and profitable. Being self-funded has really forced us to prioritize steady and sustainable growth from a business standpoint.
How has readership grown?
In launching Rue Daily we had certain goals for growth, but we never imagined just how much it would be! I’m thrilled to report that Rue's traffic is up about 6x – 7x since launching. We’re excited to give our readers a reason to reach us each and every day now.