I Earned $200 a Month Working for an SEO Spam Farm

In 2004, I was a junior in college, majoring in English and creative writing. I had only two hobbies: aping the poetic stylings of John Ashbery in order to secure a well-paying career in the arts; and, about once a week, taking the bus to Amherst, Mass. to eat ice cream at Bart’s and loudly read the weirdest parts of the personals section to my friends (and, this being Western Mass, there was plenty to choose from). It was during one of these sessions that I branched out to the classifieds section and saw a want ad targeting college students promising money in return for short essays. I have always been productive when it comes to writing (if not particularly good), but more importantly, I liked money, so I answered the ad and was rewarded with a real human being who promised to send me instructions.