This might sound like quite a basic question, but the answer has eluded me for the past couple of years. I'm from a computer science background, but the question is probably relevant outside this discipline.
Please forgive if my register for the rest of this question is quite frank. I'm coming to academia stack exchange instead of colleagues in order to talk about this matter candidly. I'm also sorry if the question is a bit long-winded, but I think it might be necessary to get past the stock answers.
The edict of "publish or perish" is a standard rejoinder, and beyond that the onus is for works published to be highly visibility, and of good quality. What this actually means is debatable though.
Most research cannot be reproduced, provides no code, and in practical terms is only useful for the purposes of citing (e.g. X et al. tried method B and got results F, but we don't have access to that data set, they don't say if they tried other, simpler methods, and what results they got, if they did indeed try these methods). Very often complexity seems to be pursued for the sake of complexity, whereby approaches are obfuscated with roughly annotated formulae written in Greek, standard methodologies that everyone knows are superfluously provided (and explained badly), and really convoluted approaches are adopted and are to taken as so, by the reader (an example would be a Bi-directional 5 layer CNN-LSTM-CNN-LSTM-LSTM for an NLP task with an explanation of "this obtained the best results"). Actually useful research material... blog posts, how-to guides, stack overflow answers, discussion group records, are all of zero academic merit.
I find myself trying to ape the aforementioned papers, but I am struggling to make them complex enough (certainly from a visual point of view). So the content itself is a challenge, because content has to be original, and the main way people appear to be guaranteeing their originality is by heaping one complex method upon another. Maybe if you are part of a big team this is feasible, but I'm just one person essentially working by myself.
Which brings me to the second aspect: visibility. There is such a baffling array of conferences and journals. Some of them are bogus, and one can filter those out. There are a couple of "top" conferences that everyone flocks to, which consequently makes acceptance a crap-shoot (if they accept 200, and 3,000 apply, you are likely going to have a lot of "good" material not make the cut simply due to the numbers game). All the rest (hundreds, if not thousands of peer reviewed conferences etc.) are really difficult to measure. Look up the ranking of a conference on one site and it's B1, and on another site, it's C. There is not only an opportunity cost here, but a temporal one - having anything submitted and accepted takes several months, and making the wrong decision can be costly on both fronts.
So the standard advise of "publish good work through peer-reviewed avenues" is only half the answer, but I'm unsure how to make my papers more liable to be the ones that are cited.
Sorry if this post comes off as cynical, it's simply trying to be both realistic and practical. I feel as if there's an approach that should be obvious to me to pursue, but at the moment it seems that I am missing out on the vital ingredient to turn from meh to Michelin.