i know that you really haven't paid much attention to marketing in the past, and i think it's probably a good idea to avoid external marketing for the time being considering the incredible (and burdensome) amount of growth occuring now without any marketing at all. however, i think we need to look at inside marketing. all of those people using free accounts who have the $25 to pay -- are we getting the message out there that lj is worth paying for? that there is no free lunch? that the extra features (both current and future) are worth the money? or even that the amount is so minimal (it works out to less than 7 cents a day, and considering the amount a lot of people post, it gets down to less than a penny per post in some cases) so as not to matter? i know you guys rallied around the donation cups when you needed a new server, but the cups were all hidden in obscure communities frequented by the people who already help a ton. it needs to be out there more and more that there are paid accounts, that you have special status and features when you pay, and that the survival of even the free services depend on a certain percentage forking over the $25.
if you market it, they will pay.
(addendum: if, after you find yourselves with enough cashflow to pay for equipment, developers and that kind of good stuff, i'd love to help with marketing. that's my game.)