Mormon influencers dominate the blogosphere with motherhood advice

Blogs on motherhood and family issues started by Mormon women have risen significantly over the last decade, and they are often the most influential sites on the topic on the internet, writes Dawn Araujo-Hawkins in the Christian Century (November 3). These blogs, such as Fun Cheap or Free, which is run by blogger Jordan Page and now one of America’s fastest growing private companies, have “amassed hundreds of thousand of followers on social media by sharing their tried-and-true motherhood tips—sometimes in posts sponsored by companies like Hershey’s, Unilever, and Lowe’s. And, also like Page, many of them [have] spun their internet fame into real-world businesses or book deals,” Araujo-Hawkins writes. There are several factors as to why Mormon mothers have become key online “influencers,” but the increasingly lucrative and popular demand for parenting resources should not be overlooked. With mothers controlling 85 percent of household purchases in the United States, in the “mid-aughts, many a hobby blog suddenly became a source of income for the women who ran them as brands decided to partner with them in an effort to reach their loyal and engaged audiences.” Araujo-Hawkins adds that this opportunity fit in “perfectly with the Mormon belief that the intentional, public sharing of joyful motherhood is something akin to a religious duty. For advertisers, it was a match made in heaven, and Mormon women were quickly ruling the algorithm game.”

The blogs cover more than the joys of motherhood, several dealing with tragedies and problems in marriages and families. But they all stress faith and reliance on God and the importance of families. While Catholicism and evangelicalism have strong family and motherhood traditions, Mormonism elevates the role of mothers and families in general, assigning them to a position of divine authority and importance in salvation, particularly in the Latter Day Saints’ teachings on eternal families. The tradition of Mormon women keeping diaries and sharing them with the public, with the approval of church authorities, goes back to the religion’s founding and the trials and tribulations of members’ trek to the American West, and may be a precursor to the LDS penchant for blogging, according to the article. But the bloggers are not necessarily seeking to sell the LDS to their largely non-Mormon audiences. Page often wishes the Mormon mother bloggers felt able to be more upfront about their faith, “instead of hoping to entice people with the happy family life that is the fruit of their faith,” Araujo-Hawkins reports. Page says that “because our religion is very highly scrutinized, we’re very careful to try not to be too preachy. We are already looked at as very strange, and I think we want to try to fit in as much as possible and teach by way of example.”

(Christian Century,