To start a good fire, you need kindling. Something that will catch easily.
You can fail if you have great logs to burn but no kindling to get them started. On the flip side, if you only have newspaper and dry twigs, you'll be off to a quick start, but your fire won't last long.
There aren't many fuels that start easily and burn hot and long. So starting with kindling and then transferring the heat to something bigger is key.
Also, lighter fluid helps—but only for a short while and only if applied at the right time. Be careful.