Rupert Murdoch has his paywall, but how does the average impoverished scribbler eke some cash out of the internet? A Paypal button to solicit donations is all very well, but it doesn't exactly tug at the heartstrings, does it? What is needed is a good old-fashioned hard luck letter, in stirring prose, posted at the top of your webpage or blog. Something like this:
"I am in great distress and know not my future. My failure is in Buffalo. I have been here so long because I have no money to move away. I have been evicted and have lost all my clothes and goods, am destitute, a stranger in a strange land, friendless, helpless and hopeless; have not had a full meal for a month, am dirty, ragged and in tatters; precisely in the condition that Joshua might be expected to be in, and do not know at all what is to become of me – all seems dark. I am aged, have grown infirm, and badly ruptured with always a swimming in my head. Walk about the streets ready to fall, inclined to think my mission in life has ended, and that this is my last letter... People at home have been secretly working against me. I am too honest to steal, too proud to beg, too old to work, and have no trade at my hands."
(Quoted in Eccentric Lives And Peculiar Notions by John Michell, Thames & Hudson 1984)
Thus Edward Hine (1825-1891), the brains behind the British Israelite movement, a group dedicated to the idea that the British are the blood descendants of one of the original ten tribes of Israel and need to move en masse to Palestine to usher in the Second Coming. (Unlike contemporaneous groups with similar ends, Hine did not consider it a requirement that all Jews had to convert to the Anglican church.) He wrote his letter when stuck in North America following an unsuccessful speaking tour. It worked – he was sent a ticket enabling him to return home to England, where he died three years later.
I am emboldened by this, and am in no doubt whatsoever that if I complain of a swimming in the head over at Hooting Yard, the loot will come pouring in!