Dear Clueless Publisher Seeking Link Exchange,
I only publish links that are of genuine relevance to my readers, and I do it with or without a link back, because all I care about is what is good for my readers. When you propose a trade, you are basically saying that linking to PainScience.com is only worth your while if you get a link back ... which sounds almost rude, doesn't it?
I work my tail off producing good content. If you want to link to it, that’s fan-dab-tastic—you do that. If you want me to take your request seriously, then you should link to PainScience.com because you think your readers will be happy you did, and then write me a note and tell me why you have already linked to PainScience.com, and then suggest that my readers might, perhaps, be genuinely interested in knowing about your site.
That is how you get my attention. That's the message that will get me to consider linking back to you. Unfortunately, you didn’t do anything like that. So you get this pissy rant, instead, which I use to respond to 99% of all link exchange requests.