If someone local can hear you and talk back, then the radio is on frequency.
If you are weak on transmit only then you will need to measure power out with a borrowed meter.
If you are weak both on transmit and receive locally check for the proper DC voltage in and SWR out.
Remember the 11 and 23 year sunspot cycles.
The CB band was created when the number of sunspots were low and no DX happened on the 11 meter ham band that became the CB band.
CB was intended to be cheap business band radio for ->local<- delivery businesses.
The number of sunspots is dropping, it may be six to eight years before the DX returns.
The morse code requirement has been dropped for Ham radio, and the cost of studying for and getting the license is cheap.