Hmmm, well I've written a research paper for honours as a student. Now I work full time. A research paper is exactly what it says. You spend a considerable amount of time doing research and most likely empirical testing and then you report about it in your paper. As a student it was 12 months.. as a PHD student it would be 1-3 years!
Many honours students will work on papers with little or no value but others will show considerable research at times. I would say though, while you are working full time, the only ones worth writing are papers where significant advancement in the field has been made or where a novel method to do something has been discovered.
There are many people who work/research and publish research papers, but it is usually part of their job description. Microsoft comes to mind here.
A good place to submit them is to a conference. Just as long as they are reviewed by enough of your fellow peers (people also researching the same subject area). Also, consider an IEEE membership.. they have lots of paper submission opportunities and it's a good place to stay in touch with the cutting edge research out there.
But why write a paper? patent your research or build a start up instead! :)