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How To Get People To Read Your Blog By Crushing Them Utterly With The 48 Laws Of Power

I have the POWER!

“How do you get people to read your blog?” I get that question a lot.

Also: “Your blog is stupid, it’s only a matter of time before you crash and burn and spiral headlong into a volcano except that your head is so gigantic it will probably plug up the volcano which will then erupt in the opposite direction and destroy the earth’s core.”

I really knew I’d arrived once people could muster up the energy to hate me.

To that second question, I merely shrug and say, “If that is how I am to meet my end, so be it.” But to the first one, the answers are very, very simple.

1. Buy a dose of Tourette’s Syndrome, inject it into your brain, start punching yourself in the face, joke about it, film it, repeat endlessly. Watch the people flock.

2. Read The 48 Laws of Power and apply its lessons to your blogging dynasty. May it last a million eons.

The 48 Laws of Power

I got interested in this book after James Chartrand from Men With Pens encouraged me to read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. When I looked that book up on Amazon, 48 Laws was in one of those “so you wanna” Amazon lists with too many exclamation points in them.

I think it was something like, “So you wanna be the World’s Strongest Librarian and get lots of readers and pretend you don’t know how it happened?”

Yes, I thought. And so I bought The 48 Laws of Power, mainly because I could tell the book was full of stories. Stories about catastrophic failures of leadership and stories about people who grabbed power by obeying the tidily summarized 48 laws.

I like stories. I like them even better when they help me achieve sinister aims.

Examples of the laws and how I use them to build this blog

Crush Your Enemy Totally

You have only to look around at what used to be the Internet to see how expertly I have employed this tactic. I thought I’d be lonely after driving every other website off the web, but it’s kind of nice, and the echoes of my typing is soothing in these new halls of solitude. Occasionally I hear rumors of other blogs, but I never leave this page, so I wouldn’t know anything about that nonsense.

There’s a plaque on my wall that says, “Every time I push publish, somewhere, a blog dies.” Wait, no, that’s someone else.

I do much better when my enemies are things, versus people. I’m a pushover with people.

Keep Others In Suspended Terror: Cultivate An Air Of Unpredictability

Admit it! You’re here because I manipulate you into a state of suspended terror, yes? Wait, what do you mean “no?” I can only assume that by your confused answer, I have you so rattled by my unpredictability that you have lost your senses for the moment. All the better for me.

Play a Sucker To Catch A Sucker – Seem Dumber Than Your Mark

And only now, at the end of all things, do you see how the trap is sprung! You thought that the guy who wore his wife’s pink shirt, the guy who tried to heat up an iron by putting it on the stove, the guy who…

He only “seems” dumb and careless and fashion-challenged. Phase B is about to start.

Disdain Things You Cannot Have

Who wants a lustrous head of hair? Not me. Who wants to know how to divide fractions? I spit on fractions. Who wants to eat a hamburger without accidentally having his finger inside of it and biting it until its bloody? Only fools.

Avoid Stepping Into A Great Man’s Shoes

This is easy. I don’t wear shoes.

Never Appear Too Perfect

I may be the best in the universe at this. Nobody has ever accused me of being perfect. It’s the perfect smoke screen.

Assume Formlessness

This I’ve had a hard time with. Despite my best efforts at blobbery and sloth, I remain a rugged, chiseled animal, and more so by the minute. I have a very definite form, and I’ve been told (by myself) that my silhouette is the stuff of romance novel covers.

About this book

Joking aside, I loved this book. It’s got stories of incredible ruthlessness, unbelievable ambition, and a whole lot of what I consider to be mentally ill, power-mad lunatics.

But they got theirs. The 48 Laws Of Power bills itself as a business book for people who are willing to do anything to get ahead. That’s not me, but the stories are really, really good.

Is there an opposite to being a businessman? That’s whatever I am. But if you are an amoral, driven , bloodthirsty blogger or business-minded individual, you could do worse than to follow the 48 Laws.


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  • We Fly Spitfires January 15, 2010, 4:52 am

    I’m jealous of you, Josh. Not of your success but of your talent. You’re one seriously good writer and blogger and I’m just blown away by it.

    I also recognise the hard work and effort you put into your blog. These things require a lot of time and emotional investment and should never be underestimated. Doing anything well requires a lot effort.

    In short, you are my hero. /swoon

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 10:46 am

      Thanks Gordon. I don’t get enough guys swooning over me. I’m that perfect mix of Braveheart, Gladiator, and Patrick Swazye from Roadhouse.

  • Dean Dwyer@QuitBit January 15, 2010, 5:48 am

    Ok I will admit it. I’m terrified of not leaving a comment and then coming onto the internet only to find I have banned from it forever. You my friend can now write a book, “The 48 Laws of an internet Bully.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 10:45 am

      Dean, I am extending my protective umbrella to you and QuitBit. Sleep easy.

  • Todd January 15, 2010, 7:48 am

    What? I’ve been tricked into coming here? Curses!

  • CMcKane January 15, 2010, 8:09 am

    “…Iโ€™ve been told (by myself) that my silhouette is the stuff of romance novel covers.”

    But yet you had He-Man gracing this post. For shame!

    Great post to get me giggling (I mean going) this morning.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 9:58 am

      who’s He-Man? Are you referring to that picture of me with the fabulous bob and fur panties?

  • Srinivas Rao January 15, 2010, 8:52 am


    That’s really strange that you wrote about this. For some reason it was on my mind to review this book last night. Synchronicity I guess. I never thought about using the concepts for blogging, but that is pretty I’ll have to break out my copy of it and see what happens.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 9:59 am

      What did you think of the book?

      • Srinivas Rao January 15, 2010, 12:21 pm

        When I first picked up the book I thought of applying concepts to my dating life. In some ways, I started to realize it could be somewhat manipulative. But, when I started to think about it in terms of business and applications of it in my business school experience I saw some amazing lessons. One of the most important ones was that the person who says the least has the most power. For a person like me who is so damn talkative, I felt like “damn I’m completely powerless.” Luckily interviewing has helped me to refine that skills. Overall I think it should be on a must read list. I plan to go back and see what concepts I can incorporate from it into my blogging efforts.

  • Heather January 15, 2010, 9:00 am

    You’re on romance covers? Wait! I thought you were married and somebody’s dad! Why would you want to look like Fabio anyway? When I think of romance covers, I think of Fabio, and that time he was riding a roller-coaster and got nailed by a bird on one of the many hills. He came up outta there swearin’ and bleedin’ and screamin’ like the oddly-shaped girl that he is! Dude—if you had hair like his, people would think you were a really tall, incredibly oddly shaped CHICK.

    Dude—your blog ROCKS! I’ve gotten stronger because of the books you have suggested on strength and kettlebells, and I appreciate the humor and the fact that you can wear a woman’s lilac shirt and look damn good doing it. I also loved the story about Max sniffing the Christmas bows—ADORABLE! And here I thought 48 Laws was by some Italian guy named Machiavelli! What a fool I am!

    No, seriously, man, rock on! This stuff is great!

  • Philippe Til January 15, 2010, 10:39 am

    I hate you.
    You tricked me to come here and stole my picture for your blog to attract readers. You might have multiple brains compared to my one set of good looks, but I will get you!

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 10:44 am

      Philippe, I’d trade it all to be able to bust out some of those crazy kicks you can do. You do look like He-Man. In other news, are you going to go back for the RKC Level 2?

      • Philippe Til January 15, 2010, 11:14 am

        I’m not quite there yet for RKC II. Probably next year (had a set-back recently). The Commander in Chief and I have spoken about this shortly after RKC I, he suggested an 18-month progression as realistic. I was 1 bell away from the press requirement, but recent gains have actually jumped me to another bell size! Other reasons sent to you privately (good ones though!)

  • Justin Matthews January 15, 2010, 11:09 am

    You had me at He-Man! This is a great post about the arrogance and attitude needed to be one of the greats in the blogosphere. I need to amp up my efforts!
    You still rock Josh, you are inspirational and a great read every day.

  • Bill Jones January 15, 2010, 11:24 am

    Finally…now I can have the power as well!

  • Yusuf Clack January 15, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Josh, you recommend the book for entertainment or you found it instructive? I’ve avoided it since I believe good business is in harmony with it’s host eco-system, owners, customers, vendors, and stake holders.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 1:27 pm

      Yusuf, good question, and one I can’t really answer too well. I can’t read it as a businessman or powermonger because I don’t have those goals. I’m not the intended audience for the book, I don’t think. I was definitely entertained by it, and while I received some instruction, very, very little of it will be things that I would apply to much in my life. Srinivas’s comment sums up what I feel about it a little better than I have.

  • Boris Bachmann January 15, 2010, 2:43 pm

    I really enjoyed the 48 Laws of Power. I thought the 33 Strategies of War was better, probably only because I read it first. The Art of Seduction wasn’t bad either, but by the time I read it I was getting a little burned out.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 8:41 pm

      Boris, you already had a PhD in Seduction, so it was probably been-there, done-that for you.

  • Terrence January 15, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I’ve seen that book before advertised in a Hip-Hop Magazine. It was endorsed by 50 cent, so I knew that I didn’t want to read it!! But great review!!

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 8:40 pm

      careful Terrence! 50 Cent might be reading this! He’s just kidding, Mr. Cent!

  • Debbie Ferm January 15, 2010, 3:24 pm

    I am a capitalist pig infidel, but who has time to follow 48 laws?

    I don’t have tourette’s, but I’m having an identity crisis. Do you think that would get me readers?:)

    Personally, it’s your hat that I keep returning to see.

    • Kelly Diels January 15, 2010, 3:55 pm

      Debbie. Yes, yes it will. I promise.

      • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 8:40 pm

        It depends on what your identities and multiple personalities are.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 8:40 pm

      I get more comments on my hat than anything else, and that is the truth.

  • Sensei J. Richard Kirkham B.Sc. January 15, 2010, 6:26 pm

    Instead of crushing my enemies, I try to figure out how to use them to make more money


    • Josh Hanagarne January 16, 2010, 7:28 pm

      Sure, like any good sensei:) That’s always what Mr. Miyagi was in it for.

  • Daisy January 15, 2010, 8:16 pm

    Spit on fractions? But…but… dividing fractions is easy. Multiply by the reciprocal; piece of cake! (Well, my 6th graders thought so compared to dividing decimals)

    • Josh Hanagarne January 15, 2010, 8:41 pm

      Daisy, I’m pitiful at math. I really, really am. When Max is learning his numbers, I will probably have to go back to elementary school. I’m sorry.

  • crestina January 15, 2010, 9:28 pm

    Hi Josh, I have this book for some time now. I’ve read it more than once and some of its pages are lined with neon colored markers. I have to say that I enjoyed reading this book and much more now that you liked it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am inclined to read it again.

    I like Law #4: Always say less than necessary.


  • Brian C January 16, 2010, 1:51 am

    That… Was… Awesome… I love the personality, great work, i think we would get along, I will definitely check out the book. Thanks for the post and sorry for the run-on sentence ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Josh Hanagarne January 16, 2010, 2:23 pm

      Thanks Brian. I’m a big fan of run-ons. If you spend some time browsing the archives, you’ll see.

  • Zeenat{Positive Provocations} January 16, 2010, 3:32 pm

    Hey Josh,
    I am all confused and rattled…why am i here???oh my god…youre doing it…ahhh…that mind thingy…hmmm…now i know how and why??? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    But seriously Josh, youre a superb blogger and an even superb person…thats why this blog is so damn good! Keep up the great work.
    I so love your freaky sense of humor..oh guy who wears his wifes pink shirt ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Zeenat{Positive Provocations} January 16, 2010, 3:32 pm

    i spit at fractions too…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • James Chartrand - Men with Pens January 17, 2010, 5:58 am

    I love that when I recommend something, you go out and absolutely ignore it to pick up something I’ve never heard of. Which then forces me to look into what you’ve picked up and probably buy it just to make sure you don’t know more than I do.


    • Josh Hanagarne January 17, 2010, 8:52 am

      James, I read Influence first. I really did. Settle down.

  • Ash January 21, 2010, 8:27 am

    I’m not about to contribute anything nearly worthwhile here, but am commenting simply to say that I literally laughed out freaking loud to read “I spit on fractions.” Just like that guy up there…../swoon! Ha. Look at me learning the internet lingo. Or is that the lingo for I-love-you-madly? Either way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christopher Kabamba February 22, 2010, 6:58 am


    For the 3rd time in as many weeks, i have been inspired by humor ๐Ÿ™‚

    As to why i read your blog….I am addicted to the sight of books so THAT banner attracts me to this space. I hope you will one day give me chance to open one of those books. I am yearning to see what’s in there. (That yearning is what keeps me coming, so you better make sure i never get to read any of them :D)

    Seriously….thanks for your inspiration. It is enough to make me want to come back….again, and again.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 22, 2010, 10:32 am

      I get as many compliments on that banner as anything. I was lucky to find a really, really good designer through Elance. He did that in about an hour!

  • NA February 5, 2011, 8:42 pm

    You ARE going to marry me, right after I spit on you and subscribe to this feed or I’ll squash you….

  • Wanderlust September 29, 2011, 9:28 am

    This post is gold! I love your style of writing and your humor. Go crush ’em!