Best of Art of Manliness 2009

by Brett & Kate McKay on January 2, 2010 · 20 comments

in Blog

Whew. Am I ever glad 2009 is over. For Kate and I, 2009 was a mixed bag. At the beginning of the year we suffered a family tragedy that put us in a funk for much of 2009. But I think the experience brought us closer to our families and helped us understand that you can’t take anything for granted.

Despite that early setback, we had a lot of success personally and with the site. I graduated law school in May in the top ten of my class. Running the blog and doing law school at the same time nearly put me in an insane asylum, and I’m grateful to be able to now concentrate on AoM full-time.

Here’s a breakdown of some of what went on with the Art of Manliness this past year.

1. The biggest news of the year was the publication of our first book, The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for Men. Thanks to your support, we sold out of our entire first print run in just two months. The publisher hopes to have the next print run out in a couple of weeks. We’ll keep you posted.

2. In April we started the Art of Manliness Community where men from all over the world can come together to discuss manly topics-both the fun and the serious. In just 8 months, over 6,500 men have joined up. Thank you to the regulars who make the Community such a great place to hang out. Make sure to stop by if you haven’t already.

3. We teamed up with TankFarm Clothing to create 12 awesomely manly Art of Manliness T-shirts. Show off your Art of Manliness pride by picking one up today. Our thanks goes out to TankFarm Clothing for making the t-shirts possible.

4. In June, we ran a month long series called 30 Days to a Better Man. Every day we provided AoM readers with a different task to complete that would help them become a better, more well rounded man. If you’d like to do the program, you can download our easy to read 30 Days to a Better Man eBook for just $5. Or you can still go through all the Better Men posts online for absolutely free. They’re not going anywhere.

5. In September I started a weekly podcast. The podcast thing is still fairly new to me but hopefully I’ll keep getting better at it. I plan to continue bringing on guests to talk about topics of interest to men as well as our Man Stories series.

The Most Popular Posts of 2009

And now, without further ado, here are the most popular Art of Manliness posts of 2009:

1. 100 Must See Movies: The Essential Men’s Movie Library

2. The Ultimate Push-up Guide: 35+ Push-up Exercises

3. Best Guns for Home Defense

4. Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own Life: 5 Fitness Benchmarks

5. 5 Classic Cocktails Every Man Should Know

6. How to Tie a Tie

7. 7 Exercises to Make You Look and Feel Like a Man

8. The Essential Men’s Library: 50 Fictional Adventure Books Edition

9. Command a Room Like a Man

10. 15 Manly Smells

11. Motivational Posters: Theodore Roosevelt Edition

12. Motivational Posters: Winston Churchill Edition

13. The Mad Men Guide to a Manly Haircut

14. Choosing Man’s Best Friend: A Guide to Canine Companions

15. 13 More of the Worst Products for Men

16. How to Exit a Room Like a Man

17. How to Shave Like Your Great Grandpa: The Ultimate Straight Razor Shaving Guide

18. How to Look Like a Million Bucks for Under $200

19. 5 Gut Busting Football Conditioning Drills

20. How to Unclog a Toilet

A Thank You to Art of Manliness Readers

This year the site grew from 25,000 to 56,000 subscribers and from 400,00 to 900,000 visits a month. Kate and I are tremendously grateful for your support. Thank you for sharing AoM with your friends and family. Thank you to those who made the site an interesting and welcoming place to visit by sharing your respectful and insightful comments. I was always amazed at the great dialogue that would take place. Thank you to those who emailed us feedback and suggestions. Thank you to those who shared your appreciation for the site with us and helped keep us going. You all are a wonderful group of gentleman (and ladies), and it’s a privilege to associate with you and have you aboard. It’s truly inspiring to know that there other other men out there who are unwilling to settle for mediocrity and want to become the very best they can be.

Looking Forward to 2010

We’re very excited about 2010. We have so many subjects that we can’t wait to write about and start discussing with you. And we definitely feel there’s a manliness movement afoot that’s getting bigger and bigger every day. More and more men are putting away the kid stuff, are saying no to society’s low expectations and stereotypes of men, and are starting the journey to rediscovering the lost art of manliness. We’re happy we could be a part of it. Let us  all push onward and upward in spreading the ideals of honorable manliness in our families, with our friends, in the workplace, and in our simple day to day interactions with others.

What are your favorite Art of Manliness articles from the past year? (Or of all time?) Your feedback is always welcome and helps us improve the site.

Let’s make 2010 the year of manliness!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 January 2, 2010 at 4:36 am

2009 was for me a good year as far as artofmanliness was concerened anyway, I loved all the ‘how to’ posts, especially the ‘how to unclog a toilet’ you would not believe me if I told you it actually saved my skin lol. I have found so many useful posts on here, many of which have given me inspiration for my own posts, one thing I would like to see more of in 2010 is maybe a bit of humour, something to lighten the mood perhaps, or maybe it’s just me. Anyway Brett I love your blog and look forward to many more posts, Happy new year guys. :-)

2 Tanner January 2, 2010 at 4:50 am

2009 was not to bad for me. Got to be in a commercial for ESPN where they treated me like a star. Just finished authoring a free eBook and started my blog.

I was so deperatly wanting this Best of AOM post.

3 Richard | January 2, 2010 at 5:07 am

My favourite was the pushup guide. It’ been a great year 2009 but I think 2010 I’m going to really flourish. Good luck and happy new year everyone.

4 Michael January 2, 2010 at 6:22 am

It’s been a phenomenal year. I’m very close to graduating from UCLA, which has been a place for me to flourish in many new ways. I’m so excited to know about AoM; you all have changed the way I look at things and have influenced my life in incredible ways. Thank you very much.

5 Kerry Palmer January 2, 2010 at 9:32 am

Thanks so much for this great site! I love it!

My favorites included your guides to shaving, picking a barber, the video tutorials on pocket squares, and how to make a bed like they do in the military.

This site is much needed, and I enjoy telling my friends about it.

Keep up the good work!

6 Nate @ Practical Manliness January 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm

My favorite “posts” are really favorite types of posts:

1. Giveaways – Even though I did not win (yet), I am grateful to you for the chance to enter your manly contests.

2. Roundups – Your periodic roundups have been useful and interesting. The part of the roundup post that I really enjoy is the list of interesting posts from the community. (I generally have already seen the blog posts.)

Thanks again for running this blog! Keep up the manliness!

7 Cornelio Austin January 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

This was a great thread. I recently discovered AoM about a month ago after starting my own fashion journal for men I did a google search to find out if there were any other blogs out the for Men other than GQ and ran across AoM. In life discovery is everything and I’ve discovered some cool things on this site. Thank for your dedication to AoM

8 edwin January 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

There are many things AoM did so well for me this year. I completed my undergraduate studies last May in a field I realized I wasn’t passionate about. Couple that with a bad economy and I found myself sleeping the summer away. By the end of August, though, I found an amazing group of friends in the world of Los Angeles women’s banked track roller derby (a story for another day) and decided that if I wanted to be happy, it was time for me to man up. I swallowed my pride and took a warehouse job where I learned the meaning of working hard for a purpose other than money. It’s been an interesting road to self-discovery that I’ve only just started on, but already I feel like a part of something bigger and better.

It hasn’t always been easy. Learning various sets of skills, both in the workplace and the world of roller derby, had its stressful moments. Among other things, AoM’s articles were there to inspire me along the way. Thanks to your website, I learned how I should carry myself to be the kind of person I wanted to be, how great men in history behaved…I even decided to get a real haircut for once! I was unstoppable the week after that haircut.

A few weeks ago, I spent the night at a friend’s after a Christmas party. I’ve met her dad before when I was helping them move to their new place and I ran into him in the morning as I was tending to the post-party mess. I reintroduced myself and he said something along the lines of “Of course I know who you are! It’s guys like you who make the world go round and who everyone should have the pleasure to know.” It’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever had and I know I owe a portion of that to AoM. So thanks, Brett and Kate! I look forward to what 2010 has in store for all of us.

One suggestion, though: Get a mobile version of the site set up! Sometimes, men need some manly advice on-the-go but the site isn’t always easy to view on an iPhone. Also, how about picking me for a giveaway prize once, hmm? I won’t tell!

9 Brohammas January 2, 2010 at 4:08 pm

2009 was good for me. Thanks to a google search for root beer reviews I found this place and have been walking around the house flexing and grunting ever since.

Its nice to know there are others who may appreciate wearing ties, reading literature, nurturing the children, and then lacing up the gloves and punching someone in the face.

Viva la Manhood
Talofa 2010

10 Michael January 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm

It’s been an awesome year, in part because of people like Brett and Kate. A toast to our hosts for redefining “keeping it old school,” and let’s keep it rolling in Twenty-Ten!

11 Jason Sperling January 3, 2010 at 10:34 am

I had a good 2009 and look forward to an even better 2010. Thanks AoM and all the contributors for all the articles. I believe that I have become a better man because of them.

Keep up the good work!

12 Mike W January 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

Im dedicated to making 2010 a much better year than last, with the help of AoM.

13 Will January 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Thanks AOM. For Christmas the Wife got me fully kitted out with a heavy chromed safety razor from Merkeur and badger hair brush from Tweezerman. Your posts regarding shaving pushed me over and I am very pleased. I am taking a few extra minutes over my morning shave but it is sweet and I am now one smooth Canuck.

14 The Counselor January 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Excellent blog, Brett and Kate. As an attorney myself, I can only imagine how you found the time to graduate in the Top 10 of your class AND run such a magnificent website. Judging from the clarity of your writing style, I would bet you’ve spent some time on law review, or at least aced your legal writing and research class with top honors.

I’m a fairly new reader who, like so many others, was referred to this blog by a good friend. All too often, my friend and I would feel as though something was fundamentally wrong with many of our fellow males, but we couldn’t quite articulate what it was. After reading your articles and the well-written comments many people have posted, it is a great comfort to know there are other like-minded gentlemen in the world who see the problems our society has. The simple fact this site exists at all is a huge sign of hope that we can start to turn things around.

As for what could be done in 2010, one possibility could be to explore more deeply some of the root causes of why masculinity in western society is in such a confused state—or, put differently, how we got to the mess we’re in today. Was it a failing of the post-WWII generation to pass on their knowledge? Did we lose our sense of honor in the decadence of the 1960s-70s? This would certainly be a massive (and likely debatable) topic—and perhaps too in-depth for a blog—but I would be curious to hear the theories other men have about this. Personally, I don’t see our current shortcomings as being the fault of women or the feminist movement per se, but rather something we allowed ourselves to sink into. Men weren’t attacked by women insomuch as men simply failed to be men—and I’m curious to learn why.

That being said, I’ll be happy reading pretty much whatever you two post. Best wishes for an excellent year!

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