Taking a good photo means giving it some thought. Otherwise you're just taking snapshots, and unless you get really lucky, your chances of getting a good photo that way are slim.
Don't be afraid to take many photos. You can always delete them later, and you have plenty of memory on your smartphone. When you see something that really catches your eye, work that scene. And if there is a moment about to happen, shoot through it. That means keep shooting photos until the moment is over, then pick the best one.
6. Don't stop shooting
You can't expect to practice the piano once a week and play a Chopin Etude by the end of the year. At least, most of us wouldn't be able to do that. And you can't expect the same from photography.
If you only take photos once in a blue moon, it's going to take you a very long time before you can start taking photos that impress your friends.
Try shooting a little every day. If you're lacking inspiration some days, shoot anyway. Shoot what's in front of you, even if it could end up being another dreaded food photo. Why not try to make it look more interesting than the clichéd straight-down-from-the-top photo that has become the norm these days? Find a better angle, shoot it macro, just make it interesting.
And that's what you'll end up doing most of the time. Unless you're out on the hunt for perfect light, interesting settings and great moments, you're going to be forced to turn mundane, everyday objects and scenes into something interesting.
If you can make your friends and family say, "Wow, I've never seen it that way before," then you're doing something right. You're being creative, rather than just a passive observer documenting what he or she sees without second thought.
That's it! Now go out there and impress us all.