I disagree. I think people DO know how to write properly and what good writing is. More often than not though, the goal of some sites is to simply get the SEO-heavy article out there as soon as possible in order to fill their content coffers. Others are moving back to a more traditional, organic style of writing with a focus on quality over quantity.
Regardless, I agree with the point you make about becoming a freelance writer. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there, and it can be very stressful. If it sucks it sucks, and if they love it they love it. You can’t please everyone. Congrats on your success.