Art of Manliness: Best of 2010

by Brett & Kate McKay on December 27, 2010 · 21 comments

in Blog

Man, oh, man. 2010 is coming to a close. What a year it has been. The biggest event in our life was the birth of our son Gus McKay back in October. He’s two months old and is all smiles. This is one happy baby. Kate and I love being parents and are excited to start this new season in our life.

We won’t be publishing anything on the site this week. Instead we’ll be finishing out the year by working on the manuscript of our second book that’s due out in the Fall of 2011 (more on that later).

We wanted to leave you all with some stuff to browse while we’re away so you can still get your AoM fix, so we’ve put together this recap of 2010 on the Art of Manliness. I think 2010 was a pretty dang awesome year for AoM, full of cool and inspiring posts, fun and helpful how-to’s, amazing series, and tons of manly goodness.  Here’s a breakdown of some of what went on with the Art of Manliness this past year.

1. We launched a mobile version of AoM so now you can read AoM on the go.  It’s compatible for all touch smartphones. Just visit in your smartphone’s browser to see the mobile version.

2. We added 3 more awesomely manly t-shirt designs to our AoM t-shirt collection. Thanks to the gents at TankFarm Clothing for helping us out with the design and printing of the shirts.

3. In the early part of 2010 we ran a series of posts on becoming a more resilient and steadfast man. You can read each post here:

  • In Part I we gave an introduction to the idea of mental and emotional resilience.
  • Part II we introduced the idea of “learned helplessness” and how to overcome it by changing your explanatory style.
  • Part III we discussed how to take more control of your life by having an internal locus of control.
  • Part IV we talked about eliminating “iceberg beliefs.”
  • Part V discussed how focusing on your signature strengths will make you more resilient.
  • Part VI we outlined how to stop catastrophizing outcomes in your life.
  • Part VII we wrap everything up by discussing how you can teach these principles to your children so they grow up to be emotionally and mentally resilient adults.

We compiled all the posts into a 72 page eBook. You can download it here for  $5. A must read to start off 2011 on the right foot.

4. Mid-year we did a series of posts on finding your calling in life. A lot of you found this information very helpful. We hope it gave those of you searching for what to do with your life some direction.

  • In Parts I and II of our series on vocation we talked about what a vocation is.
  • In Part III we put forth an argument for why every man should pursue his vocation.
  • In Part IV we discussed how to find your vocation.
  • In Part V, we discussed the obstacles men face in going after and embracing their true vocation.

5. Antonio Centeno, our style writer extraordinaire, privileged us with an incredibly helpful series on building a proper wardrobe:

Part I introduced the subject and gave wardrobe checklists for different kinds of men.
Part II outlined 5 general wardrobe building guidelines and expanded on the clothing checklists.
Part III covered hats and other accessories.
Part IV taught us how to protect and take care of a wardrobe.

5. In May we introduced the Art of Manliness Library of Random Man Knowledge. Here you’ll find over 1,400 user submitted manly tips, inspiring manly quotes, and interesting manly trivia. Check it out and take the time to contribute to the Library of Random Man Knowledge while you’re there.

6. In June we started the Art of Manliness Trunk. The AoM Trunk is a collection of cool stuff that we find while wandering the vast deserts of the world wide web. Like your grandpa’s old trunk, the AoM Trunk is full of manly photos, films, and accouterments (and announcements about the winners of our giveaways!). It’s your web edited with an eye for manliness.

7. Inspired by our articles on calling cards, we released a series of 9 AoM-themed calling cards that you can customize with your personal info and purchase. A pack of 100 cards will only set you back $25 and can be purchased here. Our thanks to Eric Granata for designing the cards.

8. Finally, in December we launched a line of Art of Manliness themed posters. Take your pick between aRudyard Kipling “If” poster or Teddy Roosevelt grinning with his immortal “Man in the Arena” quote inscribed in the background. Posters are $9.99 each and can be purchased in the AoM Shop. Special thanks to Mike Anderson at TankFarm Clothing for designing the posters.

Most Popular Posts of 2010

Alright. So let’s get to the best posts of 2010. Below we’ve included the most popular post of each month in 2010 based on traffic.

Jan: 45 Manly Hobbies

Feb: The World Belongs to Those Who Hustle

Mar: Manly Slang From the 19th Century

Apr: How to Get a Drink at a Busy Bar

May: Vintage Men’s Adventure Magazines

Jun: 15 Great iPhone Apps for Men

Jul: 14 Famous Man Caves

Aug: How to Make Introductions Like a Gentleman

Sept: Never Let the Sun Catch You Sleeping: How to Become an Early Riser

Oct: Man’s Guide to the Trench Coat

Nov: 7 Lessons in Appearance from the Marine Corps

Dec: How to Make a Secret Book Safe

Editors’ Picks

High traffic isn’t the only measure of a good article, though. Sometimes quality pieces just don’t find as big of an audience as those that are more “linkable.” Here are some of Kate and I’s personal favorites from this year:

Developing the Heroic Imagination: The 5 Traits of Heroes

8 Interesting (And Insane) Male Rites of Passages From Around the World

Dance Like Zorba the Greek: Getting in Touch with Your Wildman

The Seasons of a Man’s Life

Create More, Consume Less

The Bucket List Generation in the Age of Anomie

The Pocket Notebooks of 20 Famous Men

Tarzan Skills: How to Swim, Dive, Climb, and Swing Like the Lord of the Apes

Our Disembodied Selves and the Decline of Empathy

What is manliness? What’s with the vintage design theme of the blog? These two posts go a very long way in explaining what we’re about here at AoM. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend doing so:

A Thank You to Art of Manliness Readers

This year the site grew from 56,000 to 82,000 subscribers and from 900,000 visits to over 1.5 million visits a month. We’ve also amassed nearly 50,000 fans on Facebook.  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 am always amazed at the great dialogue that takes place in the comment section. 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 with much needed encouragement. You all are a wonderful group of gentlemen (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 2011

We’re very excited about 2011. Our biggest announcement for 2011 is that our second book, based on our Manvotional series, will be published in 2011. It’s going to be awesome. Kate and I are really excited about the project and we can’t wait to share more with you about it in the coming months.

We have some other projects in the works that we think you’ll find useful in becoming the man you want to be in 2011. Stay tuned for more details.

And as always, we’ll continue to publish totally free, top-quality content to help inform, inspire, and motivate you in your journey to become the best man you can be.

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.

See you in 2011!

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.


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ron December 27, 2010 at 1:28 am

What a great year for you, Brett and Kate. Congratulations again on the birth of your son. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about your new book. I gave a copy of “The Art of Manliness” as a Christmas gift. I hope the guy I gave it to likes it as much as I do. I learned about AoM this past summer.

2 Oscar December 27, 2010 at 2:19 am

It’s we who should be thanking the both of you. I came across your Facebook page only a couple of months ago and since then I look forward to and check for all of your newest (and not so new) post. I’ve gone back and read a lot of your older post. For my birthday I ordered your book and have read it twice now (I’m sure I’ll re-read it again soon). I recommended your book, Facebook page & your website to most if not all of my male students. I even showed it to my dad (who’s 73) and he thought it was a great book. As a martial arts instructor, school owner, ex-military, husband & father, your book and website is exactly whats needed by today’s (and tomorrows) men, young and old alike. Thank you again, keep up the great work and I eagerly await your new book.

3 Mark December 27, 2010 at 2:45 am

2010 has been a great year! Looking forward to another great year in 2011!

4 JonathanL December 27, 2010 at 6:56 am

Congratulations on the birth of your son, and be thankful for the all smiles part!

This is a great site and I look forward to another year.

5 JC December 27, 2010 at 7:13 am

I’m currently 24 and have been a subscriber since early 2010. It has been a tremendous inspiration this year and I have a great appreciation for the work you both do for it. I won’t claim AoM changed my life but it really did crystallize a lot of latent thoughts I’ve been having at this age and help me develop a mature philosophy towards life as I turn into an older man. I’m sure many readers feel the same,

There is good reason why this website is growing so popular! Many thanks and I hope that your family has a happy 2011.

6 Hugh W. December 27, 2010 at 7:34 am

Finding this website has been one of many things that have contributed to a great year for me. I got the book for Christmas and can’t wait to delve further into it.

All the best for 2011!

7 Joe M December 27, 2010 at 9:09 am

I stumbled accross your website about 5 months ago and have been a daily viewer ever since. Great stuff here and I look forward to seeing what is on the page next. Congratulations.

8 CoffeeZombie December 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

First, let me echo the thanks others have already given for this site. It’s a wonderfully inspiring site, and it’s so nice to have a men’s resource online that’s *not* covered with photos of scantily-clad womenfolk, and gives great, timeless advice, to boot!

As far as favorite AoM articles from the last year, it’s difficult to pick! I think (maybe because they’re more recent and, therefore, fresher in the mind) I would have to point to the Rhetoric series that’s currently ongoing. A great education to help protect men from the slings and arrows of outrageous politicians (and advertisers and sundry other ne’er-do-wells), and, at the same time, help men to argue, debate, and persuade better and in a more refined manner.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and, remember, you can’t drink too much eggnog. ;-)

9 Skeptidelphian December 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Is Gus short for Augustus? Augustus McKay? That’s awesome. ;)

I love this site and it’s great resource. Here’s to 2011!

10 Brandon Farrell December 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm

ugh.. why must you do this to us? Despite reading many of the posts on this site, this article has shown many I missed and am very interested in. Now I have to do aalll thisss reaaddinngg… best get to work

11 Guy December 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Thanks Guy’s…..its been an awesome year!

12 Evan December 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Great website, great people, great advice. Cant wait to see what 2011 holds, and congrats on your son. Wishing everyone the best for the upcoming year.

13 Skip December 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Brett and Kate first Congratulations on the birth of your son!

As the year winds down I just wanted to thak you for a great site. I am a Scoutmaster and have used material off your site to share with the boys in our troop several times. I feel as a Scout leader my goal is to make productive future citizens and adults. One big part of this is to help young men understand what manliness is in an era where the examples are few and far between. So, thank you, for all you do with your site!

14 Peter December 27, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Brett and Kate, congratulations on your firstborn :).
As others have said, it is we that should be thanking you. Your site is fantastic and judging on the figures you posted, more men than I thought are actually interested in what real manhood means. The groups, the forum, it’s all fantastic and with any luck will grow bigger and better. Your series on finding your vocation even inspired me in beginning my own website and acknowledging my true passion in life!
Thanks again

15 BDub December 27, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Looks like I have some reading to do BUT….

the link for “What is Manliness” takes you to the “Zorba the Greek” article.

16 TimothyPilgrim December 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Best post of the year! I’m saving this for further reference.

17 Jeff December 29, 2010 at 9:22 am

Over the last year or so, this web site has been added to my daily read list. It is now one of my favorites. Keep up the good work.

18 Carter December 30, 2010 at 10:14 am

Thank you both so much. I have enjoyed reading your blog over the past year and look forward to the next one. Although, I don’t know how your going to top your previous posts! My favorite is the article on the notebooks of 20 famous men. Very inspirational and got me to start taking more notes on my life.

19 Jason December 31, 2010 at 9:41 am

Thanks for the site and Happy New Year.

20 Pavel.C December 31, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Brett, Kate and all guys at AOM, I want to thank you A LOT, for all the joy you brought me through the year. Hope you get to see this message.
A Happy New Year, wish that you, your son best of health.
Remember: The best is yet to come!!

Best Wishes, and a Happy New Year.

21 Lance January 2, 2011 at 1:41 am

Wanted to also share in the praise as I wind down Jan 1st and the beginning of a new year! Thank you Brett and Kate for keeping manliness alive and thriving! For Christmas I bought your book for my 10 year old son (as well as the 1911 reprint of the Boy Scouts Manual for my 8 year old son.) Many of my favorite gifts this Christmas came right from your gift ideas threads from the past three years…great ideas! Looking forward to supporting you again by purchasing your next book.

Side note…although Boardwalk Empire (HBO) is not the best example of living…it sure is a great example of some beautiful style from that era.

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