Saturday, October 11, 2014

3 Reasons October is a Fantastic Month for NYC Bloggers

Why is October my favorite month, as the editor of Downtown Traveler? In addition to hosting Halloween, the best holiday of the whole year (no arguments, please), this month brings several exciting and traffic-generating events to the Big Apple. October is traditionally our biggest month for page views, as readers find stories about Halloween, haunted houses and NY Comic Con through Google searches.

See below for three popular October events that draw readers to Downtown Traveler.

#1. Haunted Houses

I've been covering the Halloween haunted house circuit for the past 4 years, first on and then on Downtown Traveler. It's been quite a learning curve; when I started out, the thought of interacting with an actor dressed as a deranged clown sent chills down my spine. Now I'm more of a jaded viewer-- to borrow the title of my favorite horror blog-- having "survived" going through Blackout, NYC's scariest haunted house, twice.

On Downtown Traveler, we typically cover the big 3 haunted houses (Blood Manor, Nightmare and Blackout) plus a few smaller shows or Halloween-related performances. Blackout generates the most interest among readers since it is so mysterious; it requires a waiver, features sexualized situations and has traditionally made visitors walk through alone. My 2013 review of Blackout Haunted House generated over 20K page views in the past month alone, with no promotion on social media platforms. The article was even quoted in their 2014 trailer (above), alongside leading pubs like the NY Times.

#2. NY Comic Con 

My favorite pop culture event of the year, hands down, is New York Comic Con. I started covering the convention around the same time I hit the haunted house circuit, and there are a few parallels. Both attractions feature timely pop culture references and amazingly detailed costumes, as well as committed performers. The attendees are incredibly friendly, the vibe is upbeat and there are many artists selling unique work, ranging from commissioned portraits to paintings of original characters.

The fanboys and girls of NYCC show their love for comics, movies, anime and video games by dressing as their favorite characters. Their enthusiasm is inspiring-- and I've actually gotten a Halloween costume idea or two from attending the Con! I especially enjoy reporting on the creative kids costumes and the best women's costumes, since are not usually groups that outsiders associate with Comic Con. In reality, the event attracts a diverse crowd from all over the five boroughs as well as the tri-state area.

 #3. Halloween Parades 

The Village Halloween Parade is always entertaining, whether you march or just watch from the sidelines. Even if you can't get near the actual parade-- foiled by police barricades-- the party stretches for several blocks on either side of the route. And EVERYONE in the vicinity is dressed in costume, displaying looks that range from outrageous to predictable. I consider the Village Halloween Parade to be one of NYC's best photo ops... perhaps second only to the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade.

Do you have a tip for an awesome October event in NYC, LA or Chicago to cover on Downtown Traveler? If so, leave a comment or send a Tweet to @downtowntravel.