If someone has a paper which could be published in a peer-reviewed journal, but they choose to not publish it in a peer-reviewed journal, what can they do to help the research to be taken seriously? By "taken seriously," I mean that this paper would not be significantly disadvantaged; that is, a typical researcher would assume that this paper is roughly comparable to similar papers in a peer-reviewed journal.
Many academics view peer review as currently practiced as indicating credibility of the work. I completed a PhD last year and currently work in a non-research job. I am working on a few papers on the side. I have published peer-reviewed journal articles and reviewed some articles before, but I find the review process to be typically superficial and slow. I barely have the time to do the research in the first place, much less time to format the paper to the journal style, respond to reviewers, etc. I also would like to publish open-access but can not afford the fees. In my case I think publishing in a peer-reviewed journal as they exist today fails a cost-benefit analysis. I'm not interested in debating these points here, so take them as given for the sake of argument.
At present I'm thinking about publishing on preprint websites and leaving it at that. I know from experience that many people won't take me seriously if I do that, so I am curious if anyone has advice for being taken seriously publishing outside of the typical peer-reviewed ecosystem.
Note: Assume that I am not a crank and that the content of the paper is similar to that of any normal preprint which is eventually published in a peer-reviewed journal. There are many webpages that give advice to cranks and those webpages are not helpful to me. The question is about how to make a paper which could be published in a peer-reviewed journal but is not have the credibility to most researchers of being published in a peer-reviewed journal.