Poor shmo? You’re the lucky one — it’s all wide open opportunity. You’re not locked into anything and can try everything. It’ll be fun.
To answer your question.
- The generally accepted wisdom is that you should submit free pieces to other people’s publications in order to build up a following. You can find the top publications here: http://toppub.xyz
- What I think you should try at the same time is writing some other pieces for Medium Members. They, Medium, look at everything that gets submitted. And you’ll see within a week if that leads to getting picked up in a topic. If your stuff never gets picked up, then it’s probably too early for you here and your first instinct of building an audience is right.