Two days ago, I was approached – via e-mail – by a salesman with a very specific task…

His job was to scour the net for certain combinations of keywords on personal websites and blogs. If he found the right combination – as he did on my blog – he would offer the owner of the site $0-$20 to hyperlink those words to his client’s website. My offer was a whopping $10 via PayPal.

“It’s straight and simple actually: you put the links inside the article, I pay you, and then we both forget about it.”

I considered the legality and ethical ramifications over that afternoon, and ultimately turned his offer down. My main reason was that I had never used his client’s service before, and so – especially because the service was directly related to my career – did not want to be seen by you, my six faithful readers, as endorsing something that I have no firsthand knowledge of.

I’ve heard of this before, and not naive to the fact that this happens each and everyday around the blogosphere. I’m sort of flattered (in a sick way) that I was even asked, but confident I made the right decision.

The lesson to be learned? Pay attention to the endorsements you see on blogs. Is the person really endorsing that company, or are they paying him for the link?

Now, if Apple had approached me, I would have linked it immediately… and probably for free.