SubHub Meets Heather Ivany of YogaNetra: “Our Website Is Our Business”
SubHub spoke with Heather Ivany of YogaNetra, an online yoga experience in HD video, delivering high caliber yoga classes via the web, a yoga experience right in your home.
Ivany built her website with the help of SubHub. Now that her website is live, visitors can choose from a library of videos with new releases added every month. YogaNetra's experienced teachers are from a variety of yoga backgrounds providing visitors with a eclectic mix of classes to choose from.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led to you to setting up your site? Heather: "I am a yoga teacher living in a small town with a young family. I have been looking for a way to expand my teaching skills without having to leave home all the time and travel. A friend and I came up with the idea together to film yoga videos in our beautiful mountain town in the Canadian Rockies and place them on a subscription site over the internet."
Why did you decide to use SubHub? Heather: "We chose SubHub because we were looking for a full package. We wanted to be able to build the site, add subscriptions, and not have to worry about the behind the scenes details such as privacy, security and any hiccups that may come up once we launched. The 20% summer discount was a great step for our budget."
How involved were you in developing the website, and did you have any experience in creating a website before? Heather: "We were very involved in the development of our website. We wrote all of our content, we had a layout in mind that we wanted to use and we helped gather stock photos to move the process along quickly. I have only built a personal website through Weebly in the past. Building a subscription site was new and not being super advanced in the computer language world, SubHub's staff members (mainly Louise and Jan) were very patient and supportive the whole way. Never did I feel belittled or incompetent."
How hands on are you with updating your site? Do you create everything yourself, do you have any staff, or do you outsource? Heather: "My partner and I do all the updating of our site ourselves. We worked with a SubHub Template before SubHub upgraded our site. This allowed us to become familiar with the designing tools for creating and adding more content. We had a few pages specifically designed for our site that if need tweaking we contact SubHub directly and they integrate our changes promptly."
How much time do you spend updating your website? Heather: "We spend on average 5-10 hours/week. Part of our advertising for our site is that there is 'fresh' content added weekly. Therefore we continuously add new videos and articles. Additionally we are now moving into the marketing component of our site and as we learn the marketing world, we see that there are things we can add to improve the traffic to our site."
How do you interact with members and what's the key to keeping them happy? Heather: "We interact with members via emails, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. We keep them happy by asking them for their input, giving free content away, providing high quality teaching, and adding new videos on a regular basis."
How has SubHub enabled you to grow? Heather: "We've only been in service for 2 months. This is hard to gauge just yet. However Subhub continues to provide quick and reliable service even though our site is live. Meaning if we need their help with call to actions and so forth they are available to help."
What kind of content is most popular on your website and why do you think that is? Heather: "Videos is most popular. I think this is the scene right now. YouTube is the most popular site next to Google. When people want to learn they are more inclined to watch a video rather than sit and read an article. We provide both but videos receive far more attention."
How have you grown your email subscribers and how do you manage them? Heather: "We only grow with members. It is on our list to start implementing a MailChimp service to draw in people that are interested but not yet subscribing. We hope to have a 7 day 'free content' email that people can sign-up for and our goal is to have them subscribe by the end of the 7 days. Alternatively we hope to have a separate email list for subscribers with incentives to sign on longer and share with friends."
How important is your website for your business? Heather: "It is our business. We are working to grow a member content of 5000 and more."
What has been the most effective way to drive traffic to your website? Heather: "Facebook, we're also building a YouTube channel and beginning a seminar with Google to learn the most effectively use Adwords."
From your experience, what are the basic steps somebody needs to take to setup and develop a successful website? Heather: "Research and know your competition, have partners/team and delegate effectively, and be willing to be wrong and to compromise and be open to different perspectives."
What advice would you give somebody thinking about starting their own website with SubHub? Heather: "Start with a template even if you don't want to use it. It's a valuable tool in the long run for empowering yourself to manage your own site. Ask lots of questions. They have answers and are willing to help."