I’m not saying that I have the one right way, or that anyone should do what I do, but here is my personal philosophy.
I believe that you should write for the love of writing, write for the opportunity to share your ideas with the world, not write for money. If you can make money from what you write, that’s awesome. If not, your ideas are still getting out there. People focus too much on SEO and LSI and web-writing. Stop thinking of it as work and start thinking of it as an extension of who you are, and as a chance to bring who you are into the world.
I write books. If no one reads them, so be it. If millions do, so much the better. I don’t write for trends or for the general populace or for anything other than my own pleasure of putting my ideas out for the world and hopefully helping or entertaining some readers. Will people give me a hard time for some of it? Sure. Will some people love me? Absolutely. Do I really care either way? Not so much. I am who I am, and I do what I do for me. Of course I need money; the barter system isn’t as alive as I’d like it to be. Am I going to work myself to death for a few pennies and the approval of some faceless mass? Never.
I know that even within writing sites there are people who think they know the path to success. If they do, awesome for them. There’s still more than one path. So long as they’re not working and slaving and compromising their true selves to make the almighty buck. I have been poor my whole life, and would rather be poor than sell myself to the highest (and usually most intellectually barren) bidder. I have my own ethics and standards that I will hold to come Hades or high water.
So I say to you, write for the love of it. Write to make your voice heard and your heart known. If you make money, great. If you don’t, well, at least you won’t spend every night trying to wash of the shame of becoming a puppet to the desires of those you know full well are below you.
By the way, I know that many of us want to write for a living, to make it our “job”. However, if you think of something as a job, as work, it tends to give you a feeling that it’s something you have to do rather than want to do. You can write for a living and still love it, and in my opinion, that’s what matters. If you don’t love it, you’re not going to have the kind of results you would if you did.