Assuming you have a duplex outlet, and you want one hot all the time and the other switched, you need to break the tab on the gold (brass) side to separate those two hot connections. Then, you attach one constant hot lead to the outlet you want always hot, and the switched hot lead to the other gold contact. At the neutral side, you typically only have one white wire, and leave the tab connected so each side gets the neutral. If you broke the tabs on both sides, you need to add a jumper to reconnect them. This is often best done by putting two short wires on the original neutral with a wire nut, then screwing the two pigtail leads into the receptacle's screw contacts. The same idea if you switch both outlets separately, one switch's hot would go to one brass screw and the other to the second.
Is your problem that it is always on, or never comes on?