It’s all about the light. Not gear, not software, not accessories, not props… In fact light can even trump subject matter/content. When the light is right, you can make a steaming pile of pooh look good. Ok, that might be pushing it a little, but study light people. It’s the most important thing that can make or break a shot regardless what you are shooting with or what you are shooting.
(Yes, there are rare exceptions, but knowing how to shoot in crappy light is just as important if not more important than shooting in good light)
Composition, study it. Go beyond just the rule of thirds PLEASE! You’ll thank yourself for it. Learn how to use leading lines, golden rules, framing, etc. learn the rules, and how and when to use them, and when and how to break them successfully. They are not there for us, set up as an obstacle or useless joke. They are all there for a reason, and sorry, but you can’t ignore or break them until you know them and how to use them. People really can see through that crap of a short cut.
Equipment and tools will change, fads and trends will come and go, but light, and composition will always be first and foremost THE most important elements that go into making a good photograph. As technology improves your use of light and composition will be what makes you a photographer and not just a person with a camera. If you don’t study both intently, then all you are doing is clicking, just like everyone else.
Slow down, and think. Not only while shooting, but
Edit/cull your images! There’s nothing worse than a port with essentially the same picture over and over again. It looks careless and sloppy, and will confused or even bore your viewers. If you can’t decide between several, sit on it for a day or two before you share. Still not sure? Maybe none of them are worth sharing then. Ask a photographer for input if needed, but don’t just throw everything an anything out there. Not everything you shoot is brilliant. Get over it, and press on. We all suck, why would you think you are any different? It’s more about knowing when something didn’t work, knowing when a shot or shots suck and/or aren’t our best, and/or knowing when a shot works.
Quality over quantity always
I don’t believe there are any secrets being kept from anyone. I think it’s all a matter of hearing what you don’t want to hear vs hearing onky what makes you feel good