The Mormon political Right is the strongest it has been in almost 50 years. All around the world, we are pursuing virtue and healthy culture in the midst of our crumbling Western world. Mormon bloggers have a major role to play in strengthening the Mormon community and fighting back against SJW fake Mormons trying to infiltrate the church.
Elder Bednar urged us to speak boldly as Mormon bloggers:
“Social media channels are global tools that can personally and positively impact large numbers of individuals and families. And I believe the time has come for us as disciples of Christ to use these inspired tools appropriately and more effectively to testify of God the Eternal Father, His plan of happiness for His children, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior of the world; to proclaim the reality of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days; and to accomplish the Lord’s work.”
But so far, no direction has been given how Mormon bloggers can go about this. What do we say? We all know gospel principles, but how do we talk about them on the internet?
Judging by the abysmal quality of advertising by the church’s PR departments, I would guess nobody has really figured it out yet. It’s up to us Mormon bloggers to pioneer this new road.
I believe we need to begin this discussion in earnest and unify as a movement. The Mormon bloggers presence on the internet is filled with fakes and Leftist infiltrators, because the rest of us have real jobs and everyday cares to worry about. How do Mormon bloggers turn our passion for blogging, politics, and hobbies into a world-changing social movement? How do we get more people involved.
This is the first in a series of 16 articles about building the Mormon Right movement. Part 1 is how to create a blog.
Mormon bloggers are a movement without a name. We have no place to gather. What are we going to call ourselves? Are we the “Mormon Alt-Right” as Buzzfeed labeled us? Are we “conservatives Mormons?”
Certainly not the “Bloggernacle.” That space is reserved for Socialist journalists and radical BYU professors. No, we need to be a grassroots bunch–like the teams of ordinary carpenters and stonemasons who built the temples.
Faithful Mormon bloggers are a movement with little direction. We need a set of blueprints and method for organizing our labor. To start this discussion, I am starting to write this set of “rules.”
I have experienced plenty of run-ins with Leftist groups around the world. I have been subjected to the “attack mob.” I have closely studied internet activism and the tactics of the opposition.
This concise set of principles, I believe, will keep Mormon bloggers effective and protected. Hopefully Mormon bloggers can quickly establish materials and proxies for our activities.
There are a variety of media methods on the internet, and each have their advantages.
- Blog – Websites such as this one chronologically present a series of “blog posts.”
Advantages: It is easy to set up and write a post at your leisure. Some services offer free blogs, such as Blogger. Disadvantages: Unlikely to get an audience. It takes more effort for people to find a blog site and read it than other media options. Blogs are more successful if you include other media devices, such as memes and embedded videos, and write frequently.
- Video – Free services like Youtube and Periscope allow you to publish video presentations.
Advantages: Easy to get an audience. Videos don’t take much effort to watch and are more exciting. You can also make a more convincing argument, as people don’t have time to stop and think about what you are saying until the end, and you can use persuasion devices, like background music. There is a wide variety of things you can do, such as slideshows, music videos, dramatic skits, dances, comedy, lectures, and livestreams. Disadvantages: Difficult to produce. It takes a lot more effort to write a script, record a presentation, and add production. You need a camera and nice microphone. Many people just livestream from their phone because that is easier. Also, if you are a guy, people prefer to watch attractive women.
- Meme – Small images with a clever caption are the new form of political cartoons.
Advantages: Anybody can make a meme in under a minute. You just need to think of something clever. The important thing is that it is quick to understand and funny. People enjoy something that takes less than a second to process. You can meme any kind of media, such as quick video gifs, quick quotes, or mini-books. Disadvantages: Memes need to actually be clever to spread.
- Music – This is an underutilized media device that has great potential.
Advantages: Good music productions are highly effective because they really get in people’s heads. Michael McClean and Lex de Azevedo have done more for Mormon culture than almost anyone. People who aren’t into music can still come up with funny satire like Weird Al Yankovic. Freeware programs make it easy, and songs can be distributed for free. Disadvantages: It takes a lot of time to put together a quality song and you need a quality microphone.
- Fine Art – Mormon Jon McNaughton pioneered effective modern fine art. Oil paintings will always be hugely influential to culture.
Advantages: Make money. Free services such as Deviantart allow people to buy prints of your art. Disadvantages: You probably will not be successful unless you spread your art effectively and have real talent. Some people combine fine art with memes by producing quick political cartoons online that people can spread.
- Podcast – Podcasts are basically amateur radio shows that are spread via music files.
Advantages: It is quick to just record a monologue or discussion and spread it for others to listen to. Disadvantages: You need a nice microphone and a way to get people to start listening. People won’t try listening unless you already have an interested audience.
- Games – If you are a developer, you can try making an interesting video game.
Advantages: Video games are interactive media that make the audience more involved and likely to receive your message. Disadvantages: Any game that people are likely to try require teams of developers and considerable effort. You also need a way to distribute them, such as Steam.
- Books – Books will always be the only way to create a permanent manifesto. You can deliver a lengthy message in one package.
Advantages: Make money. Services allow easy self-publishing and distribution on book stores such as Amazon. Once you have a considerable audience through other media, books are a great way to make some money and deliver a comprehensive, permanently packaged message. Disadvantages: Nobody will read your book unless you are established as a blogger and promote it heavily. It also takes a lot of time, more than you would think. You probably ought to put some money up for editing and a nice cover.
Social Media -Hopefully, your media spreads on its own through internet searches and word of mouth. But you will get a lot bigger audience if you spread links to it on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Set up profiles on social media sites and start discussions with other people.
Network – Network with members of the Mormon Right and other friendly movements. Provide links and references to other people’s media, and start group discussions.
Anti-Mormon websites pioneered internet networking, and faithful Mormon bloggers are way behind on this. Anti-Mormon sites provide a multitude of links to each other so that they are boosted on Google searches. They are constantly coordinating behind the scenes with each other. Mormon bloggers need to be a lot more freely generous with providing hotlinks to friendly sites, for our collective good.
Guest-Write For Established Sites – I became a popular writer by getting my start on a certain popular conservative website. I emailed their contact email and offered an essay I had written. They were interested and I ended up publishing almost a dozen of my articles with them. They provided a link to my blog on each article, which drove traffic my way.
Popular sites are not likely to publish your material, so it will take a lot of emailing before you get a bite. If you are using name recognition to establish a following, it is important to get a presence by writing for free for multiple sites.
Fame Or Anonymity?
Leftists have the luxury of using their own name freely, because they do not have to worry about bad publicity. They can say pretty much anything not receive any blow-back, as long as it follows the Socialist narrative.
We Mormon bloggers do not have this luxury. If you spread Mormon Right principles and gain any kind of audience, the Left will do everything they can to intimidate you and ruin your life. You will be shocked by the death threats, the slanderous fake news in mainstream journalism, the efforts to get you fired from your job, and the attacks on your family and friends.
Name Recognition – Are you ready for this kind of persecution? If you think you think you have a secure income, a devoted community to back you up, and safety measures for you and your family, there are important advantages to using your real identity.
People are a lot more likely to be emotionally invested and trust you if you use your real name and images of your real face. They can be entertained by your personality.
There are lots of Mormon Mommy bloggers who gain thousands of followers even though they aren’t great writers, simply because they post photos and videos of their happy families. People observe the happy lifestyle and contemplate changing their own life to be likewise happy. These Mommy bloggers are safe as long as they only talk about their daily life and do not attack popular culture. The moment they criticize degenerate Western lifestyles, the Leftist mob goes after them.
Anonymity – If you are worried about the Leftist mob, you probably want to use a pseudonym and try to keep your real identity private.
This means never giving information that leads back to you, such as your location, your school, your mission area, or your occupation. Also be careful about information you use to sign up for services. Always use an email that does not use your real name.
Sock Puppeting – Another option is to use a multitude of online identities for different media channels. The advantage of this is you make it difficult for Leftist thugs to connect the dots and find your identity, and you give an illusion of of a network. The disadvantage is you are less likely to gain a following because people like to follow a single personality rather than a small group of people.
Collective Identity – Conversely, Mormon bloggers can network with a few friends and all publish under a single pseudonym. The risk here is you are on the hook for anything your friend says. But this allows you to gain name recognition and a following with less individual effort.
When To Delete Old Material – When Matt Drudge posts on Twitter, he always deletes the previous post. This way, people can’t go back and look for inconsistent messaging or attack him for politically incorrect things he said a year ago.
I suppose somebody could screen-capture it every time he tweets or try to go through internet archive copies. But even if an aspiring journalist thug finds some outrageous old quote that they can attack him for, people are much less likely to care if it was deleted long ago. It is like the difference between an opinion essay someone published in a newspaper or an off-handed comment someone said on the bus once.
You have to therefore be extra careful with things you write in guest-articles or say on other people’s podcasts, because you don’t have power to delete those things.
Have you changed your mind since that old post on your blog? Can it be easily taken out of context to make you sound racist or sexist? Mormon bloggers need to weigh how frequently people visit the old post (which you can determine with a tracking program like Google Analytics), versus how likely the old quote could get you in trouble. Do not be afraid to change wording or eliminate a few sentences if you get the feeling something can be fodder in a Leftist hit-piece. If somebody does attack you for something you wrote or something you misspelled, don’t be afraid to clarify or correct it.
Your Blog Topic
Nobody will be interested if you are just some guy ranting about stuff, particularly with media that require heavy audience involvement, such as books and blogs. Mormon bloggers need to look internally at the peculiarities that make you an interesting personality and amplify them a thousand percent. If you have an unusual accent, speak with a heavy accent. If you say a weird colloquialism, say it all the time.
Humor always wins on the internet. It could be derisive humor, light-hearted humor, sarcastic humor, ironic humor… the blogger that can make someone laugh will always get the follower.
What are you going to talk about? If Mormon bloggers just talk about politics, people are going to tune out quickly. Everybody’s sick of politics. A good blogger incorporates one or two topics that they are interested in, or uses them as a starting point. Why not make a cooking blog and use that as a vehicle to talk about Mormon Right principles?
Effective topics are things everybody has to deal with, things like dating, eating, and finding jobs. If you dig deep enough on any topic it always leads to culture and religion. A cooking show, for example, could discuss health and turn towards religion with the Word of Wisdom.
One interesting thing Mormon bloggers are all well qualified to talk about is theology. You may not know it, but even if you didn’t take institute classes or pay attention in seminary, you are a goldmine of theological knowledge. You are more qualified to talk about religious concepts than most theological scholars.
Cultivate A Following
Reply to comments and email inquiries until you become so popular that you don’t have time to, or unless they are hostiles or journalists. The internet is such a inhuman space, it makes all the difference the more your audience feels like they get to know you.
Email Groups & Newsletters – We all get annoyed by the “Join our newsletter” screen that pop-ups after you start reading a news article. Most of us just leave the site when we get that. But there is a reason so many media corporations risk half of their audience clicking away. The few visitors who do join the newsletter are likely to become invested followers.
Newsletters and mass email groups are a great way to foster a following. People feel loyal when they get a special message direct from you to their inbox. It is also a great way for Mormon bloggers to connect closer to their most loyal followers.
Connect With Other Voices – One problem that big talk-radio shows haven’t figured out is how to connect with other voices. Once in a while Michael Savage will appear on someone else’s show, but he isn’t nearly as popular as he would be if he were in a group of radio hosts who get together for a weekly podcast.
People want a discussion, not just one guy on a soap box. The Mormon Right has a great opportunity to connect with each other, as we have so much in common. Mormon bloggers aren’t likely to have severe differences that get in the way. Let’s get together for a weekly discussion that we publish. Let’s frequently publish on each other’s platforms.
This is also why you should ask for “guest” articles from your most loyal readers. One important way talk radio connects with voices is through listeners who frequently call in and give their quick opinion. The commenting section at the bottom of the page is a very important part of your site. You should highlight great comments and respond with entire posts to important commentators. Mormon bloggers should seek as much opportunity to give them a voice.
Social media is another important way to foster your following.
Site Logo – Mormon bloggers need a brief and interesting name for their media channel, and a logo or site banner to go with it. It should be simple and quickly convey what you are about. Put the name and logo at the top of the site, along with social media icons that link to your distribution channels.
Title – A very brief statement of what that individual post is about. It should fit into the overall theme of your site, point to information that will help your audience, and be interesting enough that somebody will click on it.
- Shock – A click-bait title is so bold that people can’t help but click on it. For example, “Feminists Are Out To Get You & Your Family.”
- Questions – Form your title into a question, or use interrogatives if you want to give the impression that you are bringing up a discussion rather than lecturing about something. For example, “Should Obama Be Jailed For Treason?”
- Lists – People naturally like lists. Buzzfeed has basically ruined this tactic, but there are still times it is appropriate to title: “5 Reasons…”
- Headline – If you are talking about a current event, speak in present tense and use specifics: “Obama Appointee Blocks Trump’s Immigration Effort”
Title Image – This is the part I usually don’t think about enough. People like to look at pictures more than they like to read titles. A good image will convey what it is you are talking about and add some humorous or shocking flavor and drive people to read the article more than your title will.
Thesis Statement – Your first paragraph should be only one or two sentences long. Each word should be carefully selected to be as brief, simple, and clear as possible. No passive wording. It should also boldly stand out in some way, to hook your audience to keep reading. “All across America, agents of destruction lurk in the shadows. Feminists lie in wait to indoctrinate your children any way they can.”
If you are writing a short story, video skit, or some other kind of non-persuasive format, the first paragraph is still most important. Readers will quickly decide whether to keep going or click away.
Your next paragraph will be longer but still not too long. It builds your argument and lays out a small handful of things (at most) you are going to talk about. You may also want to include an image or chart that explains where you are going with your idea.
Sub-Topics – People understand better if the topic is broken out into multiple sub-topics. When you get to each part, start with a large header title, header image, and thesis statement just as I did for this article. You want only a handful or sub-topics.
Use sub-topics to make your persuasive arguments. For example, if you are talking about the dangers of feminism, you can divide it up into “public schools” and “popular culture,” and explain how these relate to feminism.
You can bolster your arguments with quotes, images, current events, examples, and sound logic. Provide solid evidence for your position. Provide a logical progression starting with very general common sense.
Make rference to the foundation of the gospel whenever you can, such as a quote from a scripture or general authority, in order to bolster your argument and make it clear that the gospel, not you, are the authority for truth.
Another important element to persuasive writing is to deconstruct the opposing side. Always attack Social Justice Warriors, in every article you write, even if you do it implicitly in a positive way. This will require some amount of generalization, as you defend your subject statement from alternative points of view.
Pepper your article with images, embedded videos, memes, large-format quotes, large-format links to relevant articles in order to get the reader to engage with your site. You want them to click on to other articles, to other Mormon Right sites, or to check out your social media channels.
Call To Action – After you make your case, you should always answer the question: “What can I do about it?” One reason why politics is so frustrating is there is nothing we can do to change the problems. It is a tricky balance to not be too preachy about what they should go out and do, but also to make a persuasive case that actually changes their life.
The call to action should not be complicated, generalized, or difficult. It should be easy, inspiring, and clear. “Spend some time every day before and after school to talk personally with your child and deprogram the feminist indoctrination of school out of them. This will build trust and greatly strengthen your relationship.”
I generally avoid writing “conclusion” paragraphs. A simple call to action is better. However, I am going to do that for this article, as I want to guide people toward further articles for this series “Rules For Mormon Bloggers.”
After the article is concluded, the footer at the bottom of the webpage should give more general calls to action, such as links to read other important posts and links to books you have published.
This is a general outline for effective production, if you want to get involved with blogging or help the Mormon Right with some other kind of internet medium.
As a Mormon blogger, do not get discouraged if nobody visits your site at first. It may take years of publishing and networking before you get any kind of feedback. It takes a lot of patience. But know that you are still making a huge difference.
Just the few readers may change their lives because of what you wrote, and just your very presence is another stone in the great edifice that the Mormon Right will be. Once you do get there, though, once people really start noticing you, you have the potential of reaching thousands or even millions of people.
Now, on to the rules…