I have 71 websites, and the largest has about 7 million monthly pageviews (from the US). Content is entirely free, and revenue comes from both Adsense and locally sold ads.
Users have briefly (jokingly?) suggested adding an adults-only section that would be user driven (like, personals, adult classifieds, etc). Since Adsense has dropped (painfully) this month, I'm starting to give thought to it. The idea would be to charge a monthly access rate.
The question is:
1. How do you create desirable content worth paying for in the beginning? I would be creating a new industry where one doesn't exist, but I'm not sure how to make it valuable on Day 1.
2. How do you determine a fair monthly rate, other than an arbitrary "I reckon it's worth about..."?
I would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone that's already been in this position and found a way to get past the awkward beginning.