This is making the rounds, so let me offer my view: Anyone who tells you they have the way to becoming a successful writer is selling you snake oil. Further, such a person is probably preying on your dreams/ambitions for their own purposes.
Consider: there are many writers who’ve had success with self-publishing. Too, there are many writers who’ve had success with traditional publishing. So what can we conclude? Well, nothing.
Joe Konrath appears to have had great success as a self published author, so you should do what he’s done, right? Otherwise you’re stupid. But wait, George R.R. Martin has had enormous success via traditional publishing, so you should do what he’s done, right? Otherwise you’re stupid.
You see? There is no secret sauce. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Every writer’s path is different. Always. Forever. A successful writing career for each successful writer isn’t built on the story delivery mechanism. That’s incidental. It’s built on an idiosyncratic blend of talent, luck, timing, and perseverance. And the blend that works for you (or for me or anyone else) is going to be unique, and anyone who preaches that their way is the right way just pegs themselves as a fool.
I look around the industry today and see lots of interesting things happening. Matt Forbeck is doing exciting things with Kickstarter, self-publishing, and traditional publishing. Likewise Chuck Wendig, Tobias Buckell, and Jim C. Hines. All are successful by any measure of the term, but the way each got there was different and none of them purport to be dispensing wisdom from on high about how you should get there (I also try to avoid those kinds of pronouncements, for the record). And that’s as it should be.
Look, it’s a great time to be a writer. Lots of interesting things are happening in the marketplace. So drink it in and figure out what’s right for you. But beware the prophets of the One True Way.