Blogger continues to concentrate on structure in Brooklyn, however now principally from Upstate
Eventually, one commenter suggested the blog give her a regular column, and soon she was writing the history of interesting buildings every day, initially making $ 20 per post. Her engagement slowly rose to today’s issue of nine posts a week – usually a building profile of around 700 words a day, three historical columns that sometimes run to nearly 2,000 words, and an article on the history of Queens.
Professional historians have become aware of this. “Your writing has a very narrative quality to it, even if it appears to be a corner or a building,” said Julie Golia, director of public history for the Brooklyn Historical Society, who described herself as a regular reader. “She has done a tremendous amount in bringing the broader history of Brooklyn to a wider audience.”
At the time of Ms. Spellen’s foreclosure, she was making about $ 1,200 a month from Brownstoner. Still paid in the mail, she earns more now, but didn’t want to say how much.
Jonathan Butler, the founder of Brownstoner and also a founder of the hip Brooklyn flea market and its artisanal food counterpart, Smorgasburg, said in an email that Ms. Spellen decided to write much longer posts than he expected. “I always knew I would be happy with a paragraph or two,” he said.
Ms. Spellen said she was grateful for the work then and now as it let her pursue her passion and lead her to other freelance activities and relationships with others in the heritage conservation community. “Jon saved my life by offering me a job as a blogger,” she said. “Money and I were never friends,” she said. “I think we’re allergic.”
In the spring of 2012, as their foreclosure emerged, she and a friend began searching the backcountry for homes they both liked and could afford. Her friend bought a Renaissance-style house for $ 44,000 in Troy, whose well-preserved 19th-century downtown is experiencing a renaissance, and Ms. Spellen moved in as a tenant.
“I absolutely love Troy,” she told The Record of Troy in December. “The city is coming back and I’m happy to be a part of it.”