I can't tell you much about getting your name out, but let me tell you a story.
Many years ago, through sheer accident, I took several very good photos.
My reaction was "Wow! I can do this too!"
I submitted them to a photo contest my employer hosted, and actually got a first place award for one of them.
I started reading (and subscribed to OP!), began taking more photos and paying attention to what I was doing, hoping I could replicate my success.
It came very slowly, but here and there I had some good ones.
We went on a vacation to the Grand Canyon and I saw some beautiful scenery, lovely sunrises and sunsets, and took a lot of film.
Got home, developed the film, and the pictures, well...the pictures sucked. I got mad enough that I had to make a choice. Either forget about it alltogether and go back to snapshots, or seriously try to get better. That meant more than just reading, it meant practicing.
I live in an area that is 'challenged' from a scenic photography perspective - if what you want are broad vistas, colorful sunrises and sunsets, waterfalls, etc. I can't duplicate Galen Rowell's photos in central Georgia, not the scenery, anyway.
But what I can do, and what I did, was try to understand how photos were constructed - aperture, speed, lens selection, etc., how these relate to each other, to depth of field, to compositional approaches, to time of day and lighting, etc.
I couldn't take a picture of a mountain, but I could take a picture of a forest. I couldn't take a picture of a waterfall, but I could take a picture of a dirt road running through a swamp.
My position was that I was NEVER again going to come home from a trip and be disappointed with my shooting. I might be disappointed with the weather, the light, the opportunities, etc., but I needed to know that I would come back with the best that my equipment and my itinerary would allow.
Over the last 5 or so years I have submitted photos to various local photo contests, including the state fair, a contest hosted by a nearby university, etc. I have won several awards, and even several best of show awards. I have rarely entered without winning something, if just an 'honorable mention'. Most contests around here tend to have a half dozen or so categories - landscape, wildlife, still life, action, digitally enhanced, some theme related to the sponsor or event, and sometimes something goofy like "blue" or "sad" - and they usually have both color and black and white for each category. It's fun to try to have something that you think is good for as many categories as possible. Typically most of the categories stay the same from year to year, so it's possible to plan ahead - "I need a good B/W architecture scene" or "I need a good action shot by February 15." Maybe it's vanity, but I like a positive response to a scene that I found a way to capture. (This has to be the motivation - the money doesn't even pay for matting the photos!)
So, why shoot? For what purpose? For me there have been several - 1) practice so that when I make it to the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Death Valley, Great Smoky Mountain NP, Rocky Mountain NP, etc. I have the confidence to believe that I won't be disappointed; 2) sharing and getting feedback through participation in local contests; 3) challenging myself to find opportunities in my own backyard - finding beauty where I least expected it; 4) learning how to be versatile enough that I can take advantage of whatever opportunity comes my way (or that I can make happen) on a day to day basis.
Don't know if this helps. But I think you're on the right track - purpose and meaning will drive your interest, your willingness to work at it, and ultimately your success.
Find the reason and you're on the way.
I came; I saw; I shot; I shared.