I used to run a forum a bit like this but for IPB mods and skins.. we got a lot more VIP subscriptions when we let normal users see the VIP thread titles but not the actual posts.
Just and idea
Ah cool, we used to use 50% of the money to buy retail skins and mods that were very sought after which also helped. This was back in maybe 2005-/8/9.. you may remember the site. It was called CODEMAFiA (dead now though I did get the domain back for a while in 2015 but let it die again due to lack of time).
ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!