There is no right direction.
I think a lot of people when looking for a better avenues for finding dates, get given advice like "oh, you should be doing X" as if, they were idiots not to have been doing 'x' up until this point and no wonder they're single.
The true truth is, all the directions are crap odds, they're just different types of crap odds.
Dating apps are going to be 80-90% people looking for NSA (depending on the app) and 10-20% single people actually looking for a relationship.
Picking people up at gay bars is always going to feel daunting and seedy and frightening, etc etc.
Basically, it is officially 'difficult' to find people to date.
You gotta do it all, go to gay bars, meet people, join social clubs, gay choir, gay rugby, whatever.
My general advice.
Looking for dating material on apps:
Be clear about why you wish to be contacted. Don't
try play it both way i.e., "looking for dates but you never know
Write an actual profile-bio of substance, humour or both.
Have a face pic and also, at least one pic that shows your personality, (it wont matter how good/bad this second one is).
Obviously, people use 1-2am and vomiting up gin and tonics, for snagging drunk hookups.
If your looking for dates, go earlier then the 'Loud music' watershed when it's feasible to actually meet people who've had 'one or two' and might enjoy chatting to a stranger who's icebreakers are on point.
If you're too shy to chat people up, or even just chat socially to strangers, don't just go to pantibar at 9.30, drink alone for 4 hours then wonder why you didn't meet anyone; bring a friend.
Pick something you're at least partially interested in, see if there's a "gay" version of it; yoga, bingo, gymcore, flower-arranging, boxing, chess, whatever.
Do a quick google of week times, and then go for it.
Nobody likes a flake. Go with an open mind, and don't miss any weeks near the start.
Decided after a 6 or 8 weeks if it's for you or not, and if not, tell at least one or two people from the group that it's not for you, and then go try something else.