So, first things first: You mention the crazy amounts of money Bernie makes. Go take a look at his wallet, and see how much Steem Power he holds. His upvotes are worth that much because he has a ridiculous amount of Steem Power to work with. He's not exactly the best example of someone really using the Steem Blockchain for good. Now that that's out of the way, let's break down your questions:
" 1. Do you have any tips? "
Plenty! Start by joining communities and getting to know people. I see you just joined a few days ago, so welcome to the Steem Blockchain! One great thing you can do is make a post introducing yourself. Use the #introduceyourself hashtag when you post, and tell us a little bit about yourself. There are several groups that troll through that tag, looking for new people. You'll pick up a handful of upvotes along the way, too! As for the communities, check out @minnowsupport. They're the largest Steem Discord community, with a radio show on @vimm, support from multiple witnesses, and a global reach. I met a ton of really awesome people that way, and I cannot recommend the group enough.
Second tip! Don't spend your time worrying about how much a post makes. Especially you, as a writer. Just write, and share your writing with others. There are short form writing communities that I know exist, but am not affiliated with them, so I can't help you there.
" 2. Do you notice someone that is doing something that is really working? What is it? "
Yeah, me! :P All jokes aside, I have found ways to make this place work, and I hit minnow (500SP) in one year on the blockchain. It took regular posting, a couple lucky breaks from @curie, and a shipload of networking, but I was able to pull it off. I got into @steembasicincome relatively early on, and their upvotes certainly helped. I try to give out SBI shares to newer folks when I have spare steem, but I don't have any to share with you at the moment. Sorry!
As for what brings in my Steem? A lot of things. I share pictures from my travels. I stream video games on @vimm. I log my steps with @actifit. I comment on other people's posts. I answer questions on @musing and share them to my blog.
" 3. What have you done to earn the big bucks? "
I have two posts that hit it big:
My Far Cry 5 Review: https://steemit.com/gaming/@ddrfr33k/review-far-cry-5
How I pranked my wife at the Altar: https://steemit.com/storytime/@ddrfr33k/comedy-open-mic-round-33-entry-how-i-pranked-my-wife-at-the-altar
I also had the fortuitous timing to stream on dLive back before they jumped ship. I would make 10-15 steem per stream when I was on there. Sadly, those days are long gone...
" 4. How do you make loyal friends who will follow you? "
The only advice I can give you there is to be yourself. Be friendly. Network with others. When someone posts something, chime in with your own opinion! If you see something cool, tell them that you think it's cool. Build up the other new people you find, and they will build you up, too. The Steem community is unique in that regard. Everyone has to help each other for us all to grow. I'm making about a Steem or two a day now, though it took me a year and a half to reach that point. But it's doable! I'm powering up as much as I can, upvoting the people around me, and they're returning the favor.
It's not easy, but it's certainly doable. I am just now starting to see the fruits of my labor pay off, which makes me quite happy, you know?
Also, I tossed you an upvote on your question. Cheers!