So it strikes me that the time is right to make some big bets. You can’t make those within the system. My advice: start from scratch, take some chances in finding marketing channels outside the Google system.
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Freemium consists of giving away value (and possibly wrapping it in ads), as a lead generator to sell premium products and services.
But I think I have been going to about 8 or 10 conferences a year for the past couple years and have got burned out on them. I am going to be at Elite Retreat this year, but am hoping that I can take a break otherwise.
Since Google largely tends to favor ranking informational websites over commercial websites, some authoritative blogs tend to rank for valuable queries based on posts they make in passing.
Even if you had no intent to monetize a post, it just became easier to monetize accidental rankings. If you use analytics to track your stats and notice that you start ranking for some good keywords you can use Triggit to embed links to merchant products directly in the text of your blog post.
Microsoft is spending a lot of money creating useful tools for advertisers, and when you go to their tools page they list contextual ads for "all the data mining". If they would just let me know what that ad placement costs I am betting I would be willing to pay more than that thin arbitrage site pays. But I would pay much less than what it would be worth just to keep their tool pages clean so they can help build market adoption.