Here is a great overview of Susan Miller who arguably created the astrology sensation over the internet. On the one hand it has helped astrology get into the cultural zeitgeist and into the digital conversation. On the other hand it has created a lack of overall quality. Anyone can post a horoscope or create an astrology website. So be careful out there for those who do not have "star" quality.
Read the full article here. The following is an excerpt:
How the star astrologer built a very digital, very personal empire
By Devon Maloney
"I do have a lot of irons in the fire, but I’m disciplined," she tells me a few weeks later from the hospital (more on that later). "It’s just that I’m launching so much, and everybody wants me to do [their project] first. ‘Do me, do me!’ I feel like a mother with a lot of children, and they’re all tugging at my apron."
She pauses for a moment. "But you know what the old [saying] is: ‘a change is as good as a rest,’" she says, her voice crinkling into an audible smile, the same way it does on stage when she’s telling one of her many autobiographical anecdotes. "You can’t pick when life is going to give you opportunities. Sometimes nothing happens, so you have to kind of run with it when you can."
Much has been made over the past few years of the astrologer’s meteoric rise to fame, thanks to (among other things) her ardent fashion-world coterie and all the press that comes with it. Her horoscopes — not only those notoriously prolific monthly essays for her own website, AstrologyZone.com, but now also for 10 other international fashion magazines, from Elle to Vogue Japan — offer intimate, personalized readings while still pulling millions of eyeballs. At this point, her chatty, practical delivery is just as important as the forecasts themselves. The resulting readership is an often-rabid crowd that boasts VIPs like Gloria Vanderbilt, Rihanna stylist Adam Selman, and even will.i.am.
She’s quick to stress, in person and at every appearance she makes, that astrology is not fortune telling. In fact, her approach is far more like that of an empathetic life coach than a psychic. One could argue that the practical rationality she brings to an otherwise ambiguous practice is what makes her so successful.
"I have to have faith that I’m telling millions of people the right thing," she tells me over lunch at the hotel restaurant the afternoon after her Expo appearance. (True to form, we have to reschedule that breakfast meeting so she can meet with those fans — they’ve come to LA from overseas to hear her speak.) "It’s all my math, but if you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. And that’s where people get confused: I don’t know if you’re [going to get hit by a bus]. Are you watching where you’re going? I can tell you that it’s probably not a good idea to bungee jump on a certain couple of days … But it’s up to you, maybe if you take care, it’ll be okay. I’m your friend, and if I see a bus coming at you, I have to push you out of the way."
She launched AstrologyZone.com in 1997; for 16 years, she says, she wrote her tailored horoscopes faithfully on the side, often with little public validation. But in the 2000s, when astrology made its way back into the young, pop lexicon, all her work paid off. Since then, she’s developed a massive, highly engaged Twitter following; written nine books; and negotiated and launched a subscription-based app. Today she continues to accept countless editor pitches and on-air appearance requests — in addition to her regular monthly AstrologyZone tomes and now monthly TV show tapings out here in Los Angeles. "It’s a good thing I only need to sleep four hours a night," she tells me proudly.
"She genuinely loves what she does and believes in it."
Even though AstrologyZone has barely seen a redesign since it first donned its mid-'90s Angelfire chic, the fruit of Miller’s forays into new media is apparent in every fan she speaks to: from the general admission spiritual crowd at Conscious Life to a room full of young, moneyed creative types in plush armchairs at West Hollywood’s members-only SoHo House, her acolytes reference her past posts and explanations of different celestial concepts, audibly murmuring their appreciation, often in unison, whenever she shares a particularly astute reading.
"Susan’s success [when I met her] was based on the same thing as her success now: she genuinely loves what she does and believes in it, and also genuinely loves people," says Cindi Leive, the editor-in-chief of Glamour, via email. Leive, a self-described horoscope skeptic, met Miller when she edited her at Self magazine. Today, she oversees the astrologist’s Glamourscopes online video series, sort of mini-versions of her new show. Miller counts Leive among her closest friends. "[Her] secret … has nothing to do with astrology and everything to do with Susan herself and her contagious enthusiasm."