Shooting is one of those things where there's a few basic skills that, if you don't have them, you will get very little value out of training more advanced aspects and it will be very difficult to ever get good.
One such basic skill is having a consistently smooth trigger pull. The goal is to pull the trigger in such a way that the barrel does not move at all as you do it. A lot of novices inadvertently push the barrel down as they pull, which destroys their accuracy to the point where training any other aspect of technique is pointless. I think a lot of amateurs ignore this, and still waste a lot of time and money training for more advanced things, when they haven't acquired this basic skill, and they never get anywhere. Well, to be fair, shooting real ammo is pretty fun.
When you shoot with recoil it is of course harder to keep the barrel steady. But actually, if you can pull the trigger well with no recoil (empty chamber) it's not that hard to adapt to recoil, at least with well-designed modern guns. Learning to pull the trigger properly is really the big hurdle. This is overcome with dry fire. In short, you aim the gun and pull the trigger with an empty chamber (or an inert, dummy round). This can take a lot of practice before you "max out" on it, so if you're looking for something to do at home, doing a lot of dry fire is probably the best use of your time. Admittedly, it's more boring than some alternatives, but it will provide the most value in terms of improving your skills.
You can add variations as you progress:
- Draw from the holster every time and dry fire as quickly as possible, to get used to the motion
- Try to dry fire rapidly
- If you have a DA/SA gun, fire it double action (don't cock the trigger) - this is harder because the trigger is heavier
- Practice aiming at various targets as you dry fire, to train your ability to acquire a sight picture quickly
- Practice quickly cycling dummy rounds and changing magazines as you dry fire
These are critical foundational skills for being a good shooter in various contexts (straight target shooting, practical shooting competitions, self-defense). It's a bit of grind, but you will eventually see a lot of improvement if you persevere.
It wouldn't hurt to occasionally visit a range and shoot real ammo, just to get used to the distraction of recoil and noise. But, for example if you go once a month and shoot 100 rounds, but dry fire the whole time in between those, you should see very obvious improvement in your shooting ability.
It goes without saying that you should pay careful attention to safety practices when you dry fire regularly. Since you would do it very often, there are many opportunities for accidental discharge. There are many excellent strategies, like keeping ammo out of the "dry fire room", elsewhere and I will not reproduce them, I'll instead leave it to the reader to be a responsible gun owner and research those on their own.
I would also recommend against firing any kind of real ammo inside a house:
- There are often laws against it, and you might get fined or have other legal issues
- People might hear it and assume a gunfight is happening, police can be jumpy (for obvious reasons) when responding to those types of calls
- Bullets fragment on impact and release lead particles, over time and many practice rounds this adds up and you end up with a potential lead poisoning problem. Real indoor ranges have to do a lot of extra work to deal with the hazmat disposal.
- Even blanks would release trace chemicals that are not super healthy to accumulate in your house.