Art of Manliness: Best of 2011

by Brett & Kate McKay on December 23, 2011 · 13 comments

in Blog

Merry Christmas! Kate and I will be taking the coming week off to spend time with family and reboot before the new year. So we won’t be publishing anything new on the site until January. But for those of you who still need an AoM fix while we’re away, we’ve put together this recap of 2011 on the Art of Manliness.

Launch of Manvotionals

The biggest news this year was the launch of our  second book in November, The Art of Manliness Manvotionals: Timeless Wisdom and Advice on Living the 7 Manly Virtues. We couldn’t be prouder of this book, and it’s already garnered 29 five star reviews on If you haven’t gotten it yourself, hopefully you’ll find the book under the tree come Christmas morning!

The Most Popular Posts in 2011

These were the most popular posts for each month of this year based on traffic:

Jan: Becoming Superhuman in 2011

Feb: Craft the Life You Want: Creating a Blueprint for Your Life

Mar: How to Make a Bugout Bag: Your 72-Hour Emergency Evacuation Survival Kit

Apr: Lessons in Manliness From Bass Reeves

May: The Art of Conversation: How to Avoid Conversational Narcissism

Jun: The Ins and Outs of Opening a Door for a Woman

Jul: Arming Yourself for the Zombie Apocalypse: How to Build the Ultimate Survival Shotgun

Aug: How to Decorate a Man Room

Sept: Are You As Fit As a WWII GI?

Oct: How to Quit Mindlessly Surfing the Internet and Actually Get Stuff Done

Nov: 3 Characteristics of an Educated Man

Dec: Dressing for a Job Interview: Your 60 Second Visual Guide

Editors’ Picks

Of course traffic isn’t the only measure of the worth of a post. Here are some of our personal favorites from this year:

Don’t Should All Over Yourself

22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin

Your Grandpa’s Hair Products: 5 Old-School Hair Grooms to Give You that Cary Grant Shine

Lessons in Manliness from Atticus Finch

Develop a Strong He-Man Voice by Using the Voice Nature Gave You

How to Haggle Like Your Old Man

Win the War on Debt: 80 Ways to Be Frugal and Save Money

Lessons in Manliness from the Egyptian Revolution

Unleash the Power of the Nap

Lessons in Manliness from Friday Night Lights

Bookend Your Day: The Power of Morning and Evening Routines

What Man Understands That He Is Dying Daily? (This Is Your Life)

Motivational Posters from the Band of Brothers

Viewers vs. Doers: The Rise of Spectatoritis

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait: The Power and Pleasure of Delayed Gratification

The Law of Sacrifice

Manliness Doesn’t Just Happen

The AoM Archives

If the above posts aren’t enough to satiate your AoM appetite, I highly recommend browsing through our archives. We have over 1,000 articles in there just waiting to be read.

A Thank You to Art of Manliness Readers

It’s sometimes hard to believe that we’ve been at this AoM thing for four years now. I never thought when I started the site back in 2008 it would grow to be this big. Since last year, we’ve grown from 82,000 subscribers to over 118,000 and from 1.5 million pageviews a month to over 7 million. We’ve also amassed over 80,000 fans on Facebook and over 27,000 followers on Twitter.

Our deepest thanks goes out to all of you who’ve been with us since the beginning and to those who’ve just joined us in our quest to revive the lost art of manliness. Thank you for sharing AoM with your friends and family. Thank you to those who took the time to write us a kind email or thank you note sharing your appreciation for the site (those always seemed to come just when we needed some extra encouragement). And thank you to those who bought our books.

It’s an honor for us to interact with such great men (and a few ladies) on a daily basis. A lot of people lament that men today are in decline. But you guys give us hope that the art of manliness is still alive and well and will continue to grow into the future.

We’ll be working hard in 2012 to keep bringing you top quality, totally free posts that inform, entertain, and inspire. See you then!

Semper Virilis!

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.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adrien December 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

To me, the true milestone in my seek of the art of manliness through this site was the serie of articles on finding your calling : I shared it with my friends and colleagues and I strongly believe it is inspiring. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. I’m looking forward to being in 2012 reading quality articles on my favourite website…

2 Jeremy C. December 23, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Rest easy.

3 Stephen December 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Some of my favorite articles are the classics: How To Shave Like Your Grandpa, The Essential Man’s Library/Movie Library, How to Stop Hanging Out WIth Women And Start Dating Them, etc…

I suppose a lot of those are articles that came straight from the book. Good stuff all around. This list right here will be some great reading (and re-reading) over Christmas break.

Happy Holidays, men!

4 Steve December 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Just wanted to wish Brett, Kate and family a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

All the best from a UK reader who’s been enjoying the blog for several months now.

5 Joe December 23, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I started reading your post this year and have read every single one since I have even spent weeks clicking through the different sections of this site. I gotta say wowee this sight is amazing. Happy Holidays to all and God speed to the McKays for their wonderful blog.

6 Aaron December 24, 2011 at 1:32 am

My favorite article was the one on providing that was part of the 5 post series.

7 James December 24, 2011 at 7:09 am

A very safe, and very Merry Christmas to your entire family, Brett.

8 Al December 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

Thanks for the Christmas present, Brett and Kate. Have a good Christmas in the company of your family and enjoy your well-deserved rest.

9 Salahuddin December 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

Guys I love the site. I think men need inspiration. I think they need to feel excited about being a man and your site helps them do that. I wanted to recommend a book to everyone here Along the Naktong by Joshua Lorenzo Newett available on amazon in paper back. One of the ten best books I’ve read this year.

10 Ken F. December 27, 2011 at 12:55 am

Happy Holidays, Brett and Kate. Thank you both for the great work (and thanks for the “If” poster for my son!). This is such a fantastic site, I look forward to it each day. Here’s to the new year and 2012. See you then.

11 Alex December 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thanks to you and Your family for devoting your time and efforts to reviving this way of living. I’m only 17, but I find these articles to be pivotal to development. It’s made me a better student and prepared me for being the best man when progressing into the world. Thanks again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

12 Leo December 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Likewise, Alex. I’m certainly not a man by today’s age classification, but thanks to this site, I feel that I am on the right path to becoming a true man. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. McKay. Happy holidays.

13 Joe January 3, 2012 at 2:20 am

I’ve just discovered this blog and now I’m pouring over it. This is really an incredible resource for getting your life together. As I brand new college graduate, I can’t emphasize enough how awesome I’m finding this, especially where it concerns helping organize my thoughts about my future.

Please keep writing, what you’re doing is incredible.

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