How Harmony Created A Life-Changing Membership Site Around Her Passion For Astrology
Welcome back to another exciting edition of our Customer Success series. In these posts, we introduce you to members of the MemberMouse community, detail their journeys, challenges, and successes in building online businesses, show you what they’re up to with their own membership sites, and have a bit of fun along the way.
In this post, you’ll get to know Divine Harmony: an astrologer and depth psychologist who’s built a successful online membership business over the past 11 years. Harmony was kind enough to share stories, lessons, and takeaways from her entrepreneurial journey. If you’ve ever wanted to peek behind the scenes of a successful membership site owner and explore the way they think and approach their business, you’re going to love this article.
- How Harmony fortuitously discovered her life’s work
- The story of how she built her online membership business
- How it has changed and evolved over the years
- A tour of her membership site
- The joys (and benefits) of running an online business
- And more!
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
Meet Divine Harmony
Harmony (and yes, her name is actually Harmony 😄) is a mother, astrologer, depth psychologist, writer, teacher, and online business owner. She’s carefully and passionately studied astrology for the past 22 years and began writing on the subject online in 2008.
Since then, she’s gone on to build a successful online membership site centered around all of her astrological offerings. Her astrological work and membership site is her full-time focus and gives her the freedom to live and work anywhere there’s an internet connection.
DivineHarmony.com provides in-depth weekly, monthly, and yearly horoscopes, astrological writings, live videos, and much more to its community of members.
Harmony has been on a really interesting journey: from her auspicious discovery of astrology, to creating her first blog, and on to the current evolution of her online membership site. Let’s turn back time a bit and start from the beginning, when Harmony first discovered her life’s calling.
Discovering Her Calling
What’s fascinating about Harmony’s story is that for someone who ended up becoming a full-time, professional astrologer, Harmony had never even heard of anything astrological until she was in her late teens. You see, Harmony grew up in a pretty strict religious household. It wasn’t until she went away to college that she first heard of astrology. One day, she happened to pick up a magazine of horoscopes and read her horoscope for the very first time. She describes this first discovery as “sort of miraculous.”
We’ll let her take it from here:
“The moment I first read my horoscope, it actually completely spoke to what was happening in my life. That week a light bulb went on in my head and I was like, ‘well, how is this possible?’ I have the kind of mind where if something is interesting to me, I will research the crap out of it because I need to understand why it works. So that's what I did. I just fell down the astrology rabbit hole and began studying it. The thing with astrology is there's always more to learn so you never get to a place where you know it all. I mean, just like the universe we're in we're always discovering new planets, new stars, new black holes, you know?
My other interest is psychology and I have my degree in Depth Psychology. I've been studying shadow work. I don't just do normal astrology, I do in-depth astrology where I'm looking at the shadow, the unconscious, the wounding from childhood. I'm looking at the journey of integration and healing and these two things are what I've weaved together, which kind of make, I think, or at least I'm told this too so it's not just me, but it makes my voice unique in the astrology community. I'm not just coming at astrology like here's your day to day, great day to cut your hair.”
Once Harmony discovered her passion for astrology, she began devouring any and all material she could get her hands on related to the subject. This marked the beginning of her intensive study that continues to this day. What’s funny is that when Harmony was studying astrology, it was never something that she thought she would do professionally.
“I never thought I would do this professionally. I even said that. I said, ‘I love astrology but I’ll never be an astrologer.’ Which is funny because I am now. I really got pulled into it. The first reading I ever did, somebody asked me for it. They asked me, ‘Can I pay you to do a reading?’ It was something I loved to do. I would do it for free and I was doing it for free.
For me, this didn't start with the focus on money. Which I'm grateful for because I feel like a lot of times when you start with a focus on money you limit what you even think is possible. I've had people go, ‘Wow, you're making a career as an astrologer. How did you do that?’ And I know part of it is because I didn't go into it thinking what I can I make money doing, you know? I went into this going, ‘what do I love?’ Okay, let's go from there and let's see what we can do with this.”
Just as Harmony was guided into her profound interest and eventual career in astrology, she was also guided into making some very smart business decisions early on. In fact, one of these smart decisions is almost certainly the key reason why she was able to create a successful business around her passion for astrology. We’ll cover what that key thing is a bit later in this post. But first, let’s take a look at how Harmony got online.
Harmony's First Website
In 2008, after studying astrology for over a decade, Harmony started her first website: an astrology blog on Blogger. (remember those??)
Here she began writing regularly about astrology and published weekly horoscopes. Soon, she had built an audience of thousands of people who visited her website each week to read her horoscopes and hear her astrological insights.
Not long after Harmony had her highly-trafficked blog up and running, another fortuitous event occurred. Something that helped pave the way to the successful online business Harmony runs today.
“Back when I was still on Blogger, I had a web developer friend who helped me with a bunch of things. One day he said to me, ‘You know, you should have a website with a membership service.’ Because when I wrote free horoscopes, I would have thousands of people read them each week. He's said to me, ‘You could convert this into work.’
And honestly, it wasn't even intentional. Really, I can thank my friend for it. He's the one that told me I needed to make a website. He helped me come up with the website name and he's the one that helped me set up a membership service, which is essentially what became my business today.
That's one of the things I'm really grateful for actually, which MemberMouse helps me with, is I have a mobile online business and I can travel around the world and work wherever I'm at, as long as I have an internet connection. My friend really gifted me this.”
Building Her Online Business
Once Harmony received the idea and inspiration for a membership website, it was time to get to work building this new project. From there, Harmony and her friend got to work and set up her very first membership site.
At first, they built her membership site with a standalone piece of membership technology that didn’t integrate with WordPress. Harmony says it worked for a period of time, but started to become increasingly defunct as more and more people made the switch over to WordPress. As this other membership tool decreased in quality and functionality, Harmony began experiencing more and more problems in her business.
“With this other service, there would be people whose accounts were open, but their payments didn't go through. I would have to go through all the members and check everybody to make sure payments were happening. If they weren't, I had to manually close their accounts. And if I didn't, I might find out in a year that somebody's had a year-long membership for free because it didn't cancel when they canceled their PayPal payment.”
Switching To WordPress & Finding MemberMouse
After finally having enough of this other membership tool, Harmony decided to make the leap and rebuild her membership site from scratch using WordPress.
This transfer over to WordPress and eventually MemberMouse is a story in and of itself. Here’s the abbreviated version (cue montage footage):
- Harmony hired a web development team
- They looked good at first, but ended up being very shady and unethical
- They disastrously changed the name of all her existing links and a SEO catastrophe ensued
- She fired the web developers and then found the wonderful web developer she still works with today
Once Harmony connected with Rory McCracken (the designer and developer who built Harmony's current site), they got to work building the first version of the membership site you can now see at DivineHarmony.com.
“I feel like in the online world, it can be hard to find good, consistent, people and tools to work with. Once we moved over to MemberMouse a lot of our issues got cleared up. My team and I have been so impressed by the years of consistently sending in emails and getting responses right away, getting support right away. Even my web developer commented to me in an email how impressed he was. Over the years the way you've consistently shown up as a company has been really great.”
It’s our mission to help online entrepreneurs and business owners build powerful, profitable, and stable membership sites. We’re glad we were able to play our small part in helping Harmony build the business of her dreams. One that gives her the freedom to travel, live, and work wherever she wants (as long as she has an internet connection).
The Life Changing Effect Of A Membership Site
After launching her new and improved membership site, Harmony was able to create a very stable and predictable recurring revenue stream in her business. Remember the smart business decisions that Harmony made early on?
This is it.
Her decision to use the membership model and build a recurring revenue business is in large part responsible for the current level of success and freedom she enjoys in her life today.
“Now I have this online business. I have a membership service. Whether I have 10 members or 10,000 members, it's the same amount of work in terms of the membership piece.
If you don't know much about the astrology profession, it's not common for people to do this full-time. Maybe five or ten percent of astrologers do astrology as their full-time business. A lot of people have to do other things, other jobs or have full-time jobs and then do this part-time. But for me, it's my full-time job. It is all I do. And having the membership is a big piece of that.”
The Evolution Of Harmony's Membership Site
The membership site you see now on DivineHarmony.com is the latest in a series of ongoing iterations and evolutions. So, if you’re just starting out, don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of content, offerings, and membership levels she has! Harmony’s membership site started out with a much simpler offering.
The first version of Harmony’s membership site had just one membership level. This level gave her members exclusive access to weekly horoscopes, monthly overview, and lunar forecasts.
“First it was just access to weekly horoscopes and a monthly overview. At that time, the content I gave away for free was the weekly forecast and the astrology blog. Then I added in lunar insights. When I started posting those for free, other people online would repost them and it would send a ton of traffic to my website.
Then I just opened up a lot of content. People Google ‘new moon’ and ‘full moon’ a lot so I realized those are good things to have as open content. Right now, I'm trying to find a balance so there's enough free content to bring people to my website, but not so much that it's not keeping people from not signing up.
There's actually quite a bit of content on my site that's free. If you look on my website, under the tab cosmic insight is all my writing and recordings. Some of it is recordings, some of it is videos. The things with little crescent moons, stars, or suns next to it, those are all membership content only. Everything else is free content. So, the astrology blog, the weekly forecast, the astrology videos, the lunar insights, the guided meditation. It's a yearly forecast and the writings are all free.”
From there, Harmony experimented with adding 6-month and annual memberships, grandfathering in her founding members, and raising her prices. After some testing, Harmony settled on three different membership levels, all with unique access rights.
Here’s how her membership levels are set up now:
A Tour Of Divine Harmony's Membership Site
Need some inspiration for your own membership site?
Let’s take a quick tour of Harmony’s membership site…
The Joys And Benefits Of Having An Online Business
Remarkably, Harmony’s path as an astrologer and success as an online business owner unfolded quite organically. Harmony now has a successful online business that she can run from anywhere in the world (with an internet connection, that is…). What is “the dream” for many online entrepreneurs and digital nomads wasn’t necessarily her goal Harmony aimed for from the outset.
“I have a mobile online business and I can travel around the world and work wherever I'm at, as long as I can an internet connection. The thing is, that was never my goal. I have a lot of people now say, “Wow, you can go anywhere!” Like last summer we were traveling in Europe for three months and I was just managing my business abroad. I'm really grateful for that.”
Aside from the more alluring aspects of running a successful online business, Harmony talks about the sheer practicality (and even necessity) of having a business that she can take with her:
“I feel like our world is in a state of turmoil. We're going through a crisis of who we are and what we stand for. There's just a lot of shifting and changing happening. Being able to do my work online makes it so that I can be mobile for positive reasons. Like going on a trip for a month to Europe, but also not so positive reasons, like if there's a huge earthquake or if there's a fire or if there's a flood.
For example, here in California, we've had crazy fires and floods. There are people who got displaced for weeks. What it did to their work and then their income was a big deal. I knew some people who were really struggling because they had to leave places where there was fire, where their jobs got burned down.
My business is virtual, I can take it with me. I can buy a new computer. I'm not so tied into one place in order to survive.
And I'm also kind of a gypsy at heart. What I like is that my business is the same business, the same amount of money I make, no matter where I live. I could live somewhere where the cost is really low or the cost is really high. It's not dependent on me finding a job where I'd go that fits what I do, because my job comes with me.”
We hope you've enjoyed getting to know Harmony and her inspirational story. If there's one main takeaway we've learned from Harmony, it's that success is very much a journey, it's a process. It's easy to look at the “end result” someone has achieved and feel overwhelmed, discouraged, or even envious. But as we learned through Harmony's story, getting to where she is now took many years. It took trial and error, multiple websites and many iterations. While her achievements were certainly worth it, they were by no means easy.
Building a successful business takes daily, concerted effort. Even Harmony is still diligently fine-tuning and working on her business.
“I'm not a business strategist. I don't think like that. Right now, I am trying to get the website more dialed in. I'm aware that somebody who is all about marketing could come to my website and could show me things that need to be cleaned up. Like, this isn't clear, this isn't right, you know? So, I'm working to figure out how to make certain parts of my site less confusing, because there's probably things we could do to make it more streamlined.”
So wherever you are in your journey, keep your head up! If you have anything you'd like to say or questions about this post, be sure to leave a comment below and join our discussion.
If you'd like to read more inspirational stories from other people in the MemberMouse community, be sure to check out more of our Customer Success posts and tune in to our podcast, where we interview our customers, interesting entrepreneurs, experts, and best-selling authors.
Over the past 6 years, Matt Brown has worked closely with some of the world's most successful membership and online course entrepreneurs. He's seen first hand what works – and what doesn't – when it comes to starting, building, and growing online businesses. On top of that, Matt was responsible for screening all the guests we've had on the Subscription Entrepreneur podcast. This allowed him to hear the best membership marketing and growth strategies from top authors and experts. Now, he shares everything he learns with you here on the MemberMouse blog. Subscribe today so you can discover cutting-edge strategies that can help you grow your membership, subscription, and online course business.