I'd just add to @buggedout's comments that all of us who are relatively new need to make some determinations with regards to effort vs. rewards. Towards the beginning of our time here might not be when we expend a lot of time and energy in posts, but rather, sufficient and adequate time. I'm not suggesting a lack of quality. I am saying that if you can create a quality post in an hour or so, as opposed to four, five or more, then those types of posts in the beginning may be more appropriate.
The problem is, and perhaps always will be, visibility. Those who have been around, have networked, have become part of a community, made friends, etc., will probably be the ones with the higher rewards regardless of what they actually contribute because they're solving the visibility problem at least in part by these associations they've created. I wish they would maintain quality, but other than choosing not to vote on their posts, or taking the extra step of flagging, there isn't a whole lot that can be done to change the behavior. In my mind, I can either choose to concentrate on what others are accomplishing and let it affect what I do, or I can concentrate on what I'm doing and how I can help others make it a better place.
May I suggest, among any other groups or communities you may decide to get involved with, that you check out the newbie resteem initiatives, ASAPers and @abh12345 curation and engagement leagues.
And if it's any consolation, the first couple months here, for me at least, were the hardest. Hopefully, you'll see some improvement, too.