How does a songwriter get hit songs recorded by Marc Allen Barnette
Most of the modern day hit writers, and artists, started out years before as a home town hero. Playing all the bars, and clubs in their area. Some might have local record deals, step up to regional artists, in bands, etc. Sooner or later, they make forays into LA, New York. Austin, or Nashville.
Usually before they move, they've started meeting people, doing sets on songwriters nights, open mics. By the time they move they usually have a few friends here and there and have gotten the lay of the land.
They take on multiple day jobs (usually two or three) while writing all the time. They do writers nights in town, get known. Usually writing a couple hundred songs a year. The really special ones will rise to the top, and after a couple of years, will connect with some publisher or hit writer in line ahead of them. Often they start to get cuts, (Ashley has had hundreds so he probably got pretty hot a few years ago and has just continued on. That brings them into the circles of other hit writers.
They start working with publishers who take them around to the golf tournaments, going to the Key West and Frank Brown songwriters festivals. They go on songwriters retreats.
They write with all the new up coming artists a couple years before they hit. People like Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia line, Blake Shelton, etc are all known around the community before they get deals. There;s usually one or two huge hit writers that put their "good housekeeping seal" on them, and build up their street credibility.
At some point, they usually get red hot and EVERYBODY wants their songs. They get hits, number ones, top tens. They are on "everybody's favorite polls." They get nominated or win awards. They get to know the Hollywood contingent that always come to town. They get flown to France and other festivals around the world. Just like Hollywood actors and actresses, directors, etc.and artists and celebrities, songwriters and publishers, producers, labels, musicians, etc. all have their own circles.
They make a good deal of money and some of those form their own companies, with their own artists. The people who do it well, like Ashley and probably 25-30 other top level writers, get multiple cuts around town. Some keep careers going for years.
If you want to look at similarities, look at Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in football. On top of the heap for many years. Very few like it but they stay on top of their game and keep going on.
It does always end. Everyone is replaced at some time or another but usually by that time, they have laid the ground work for the future behind the scenes or have retired to a warmer climate.