Get out of your comfort zone!
This is the first and maybe the most important of all. Nothing will happen if you keep staring to your camera at home and do nothing. There must be something interesting happening out there worth a photograph, I can guarantee you. An interesting scene, an unusual thing happening No matter what kind of photography you do, where you live and if you think that there is nothing interesting where you are, there are photo opportunities everywhere. Dont come up with excuses that your place is boring and that you are fed up with it. Dont be afraid to try new things and try not to be stuck in a subject. The more subjects you shoot, the wider the possibilities. Just remember, it is simple, you cant shoot it if you arent there.
Trust in your gear!
No matter if you are holding an one hundred dollar point-and-shoot camera, a phone or the last Nikon/Canon release, you need to keep in mind that what you have CAN make great images no matter what. Dont dare loosing shot opportunities thinking that you cant do it with your equipment and blablabla. After all, if you can see it, so it can. The biggest issue that can happen is the awful and hard work of pressing the delete button if you dont like the final result. I myself have many good shots that Ive taken with my two year old phone that you cant even tell it was taken by it.
Dont be afraid of experimenting. I helps you exercise your eye for photography and helps you improve your capability to compose scenes. A lot of great shots that I have taken came out of nowhere, as I was just random experimenting. The digital era helped us a lot on this. Again I say, you just need to instantly hit the delete button it you dislike the result.
Learn some PS skills!
Yeah its tricky to some, but there is no way outta here. Im not saying that you need to be an expert to have good edited photos, you just need to learn a few standard tips that youll apply in every photo. PS can ALWAYS improve a photo. No need to be an expert, for Gods sake. What Im saying is that minor little adjustments really make boring photos come to life. Knowing various tips and understanding what they do to the photo is very important so that you can choose either edit this or that way. Adjustments like color corrections, sharpening and learning to play with the contrast/saturation/levels/curves is a must and a good start. Im saying PS cause it has become standard on post processing, but others like Gimp would work as well of course, not to mention that it is free. Here is two evry useful news articles that can help you a lot on this, both of them written by ^kkart: [link] and [link].
Understand the settings of your camera!
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that you need to have basic knowledge about the elements that make a photo. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensivity are the key elements to a photo. Learning the effects and trade offs of them is a must, and if you can understand what difference they can make to a good photograph, it is a half way down to success. This also helps you to start playing with the manual mode of your camera, doing some long exposed shots or creative exposures, things that cant be done in the automatic mode. Other basics like the law of thirds, focusing and dept of field can also increase your possibilities. Dont forget that the internet is a great source of information. Photo--Assignment is a great club here on dA that has some very useful and informative news articles about each of these aspects individually.
Be a light chaser!
One of the key elements of photography is light. As a photographer, you need to keep in mind that depending on the time of the day you choose to take photos, the results can be a lot different. By the morning the light has an aspect, by midday the light has another aspect (which is considered the worst time of the day). So, what would be the best time of the day to shoot!? You ask. The golden hours are by far considered the best time of the day to shoot, which comprehends one and a half hours after the sunrise and one and a half hours before sunset. The lateral incidence of the sun rays at that time enhances shapes, gives soft yet bold tones to the colors and it is a clean and beautiful light, not to mention the shadows. Shadows can add a lot to a photo, and no doubt that they are easily seen at that time, which can make some great photos, and please be sure not to miss the sunrise/sunset. Im not saying that this is the only good time of the day to shoot, it depends a lot on what you want, and this is too general. In summary, choosing the correct time of the day wisely is very important to take good photos.
Get inspiration with others!
dA is excellent for this, I dont have to say. Here you can find great photographers of all kinds and easily chat with them. Ask for tips, exchange experiences and the most important, LEARN with them. Study their photography and see what their work speaks. This will inspire the creative and the artist in you. By observing photos of the same subject you like to shoot you can have tons of new ideas to compose and angle your shots and a lot more. Try to watch people that do the same kind of photography you do and ask their opinion about your attempts!
All in all, be creative and enjoy the art of taking photos, always learning new things and being opened to feedback and constructive criticism. Thanks for reading this and I hope you can find some use of what I said here.