1: Learn to develop your own film
2: Learn to print your own photos in the darkroom, or if you don't want to do that, get a GOOD film scanner and learn to use it.
3: Practice. A lot. Years of practice are needed to get really good. Its worth it. Don't be stingy about film, waste a lot of it, its not really waste, its practice and if you learn from your mistakes you will get very good.
4: Learn to get perfect exposure every time, it makes a big difference in your image quality. Either use an incident meter like 2f/2f suggested or learn the zone system and use a spotmeter.
5: The true speed of a black and white film is not what is marked on the box. Different developers affect the speed of the film, and you may need to use a lower or higher speed if your light meter is not in agreement with the meter used by the manufacturer to determine speed. Test your film.