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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Indecent Proposal?

I recently received an inbox message from an individual who was willing to help market my eHow articles.  The essence of the proposal was that I would send him links to my 5 highest earning articles on eHow, and he would market them through his social networks.  If my monthly earnings increased over 2.5 times what they typically run, then I would keep 60% of the total earnings and he would get 40%.  If my earnings failed to increase by that much, then I would keep everything.

On the surface it doesn't sound like all that bad an idea, but I have a few reservations.  As the father of 6 kids, I am always looking to the longer term risks and worst case scenarios for any request that I get.  So, here are my thoughts.  First, why would I want anyone to know which articles are my best earners.  Granted I don't earn a whole lot on eHow, but sending out the URLs to my best work simply asks for competition.  Even if that isn't the intent, the other scenario that I can envision is a lot more sinister.

There would obviously be an incentive to increase my earnings so that this individual can benefit directly.  How can I possibly verify that the means of increasing my earnings by 2.5 times normal occurs through legitimate means?  Can you say "click fraud" anyone?  If anyone is at risk, then I am the one would could lose the eHow account.  Even my AdSense account could be at risk if this "scheme" were to be traced back to me.  Why on earth would I want to even take that chance?  It makes no sense at all.

I am not saying that either of these scenarios is what this individual has in mind.  He could be perfectly honest and genuinely looking for a win-win business proposition.  But I have no idea who this person is.  This was an unsolicited message.  Besides, if something sounds too good to be true....I think you know the rest.  So, does anyone else have any thoughts on this proposal?  Indecent or not?  What would you do?  Feel free to comment.  I am interested in knowing if anyone else has been approached with something similar as well.

PS--Don't know if you ever saw the movie with this title, but it was interesting.  Photo credit: Koshy Koshy


  1. Hey Kidgas:

    I think I would be a little leary about this as well.

    Did this person offer you any referals so you could check out their reputation? If not, I would definitely ask for some.

    I had someone offer to write free articles for my blog once but I never took them up on the offer.

    Have fun!

    - Rick

  2. Go with your gut. It sounds like your "spidey senses" are on alert and rightfully so. I would probably send that email to the trash.

  3. Rick,
    No referrals were offered and the individual had joined eHow just a few days before sending me a message. I won't even bother to ask for any since the risk seems too great. I would rather avoid any shortcuts and do the marketing myself.

    You called it correctly.

  4. Definitely go with your gut. Do the marketing yourself and stay away from anything that sounds even remotely shady - and this sounds a lot more than just "remotely" shady. You've making good progress, so I think you've got it right when you say to just keep at it and avoid these dubious offers.

  5. Thanks, Master Dayton. I am surprised that I have not heard from anyone else who has received such an offer. I was certainly curious to know if anyone had.

  6. Did they contact you through ehow? I was contacted thru my ehow messages by someone with a similar proposal. I'm still scratching my head over this one.

  7. You guessed it. I am scratching as well.


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