Hi. I’m Moses Ukanna and this is my Story. This is a reason I’m certain we both can work together to make life a lot more fun. And this is why I’m hellbent on giving you all the best of what I’ve learnt so far for a greater good – HappYness.
I was so broke. Right now, I’m in dire search for ways to get richer.
Truth is I’m not where I want to be right now, but, I’m not where I used to be and I’m doing everything in my power to make sure my kids don’t go through all I went through (that would mean that I failed big-time in their eyes).
I was born into a family built with love. Not rich, average.
My cousins and I were so close like we were siblings until we grew up and went separate ways. I was given birth to in a place called Benin City, in the glorious Edo State, Nigeria.
If you’re reading this from New York or Los Angeles, Benin is one of the oldest kingdoms in Africa. It’s located in Edo State, Nigeria.
Where I come from, traditional value is much upheld. The King is called “Oba” and his authority is second only to God.
The government officials bend their policies to avoid collision with what the wise men of tradition in the ancient stipulate.
Meanwhile, I was this very playful kid while growing up. Nothing mattered.
And as kids Christmas was one thing we considered the festival from heaven. It was like no other annual festival we observed.
We smelt it racing forth from the last week of September.
At the time, Christmas and New Year’s Eves made more sense and was more fun to us (ignorant kids) than the very days themselves.
The truth is; we weren’t bothered at all. Parents provided whatever we wanted and when they didn’t, we wouldn’t ask questions as to why they couldn’t, all we’d do was cry our lives out and starve just to show how upset and angry we were.
It continued like this for me until my grandmother, my two siblings and my playful self moved from the local birthplace to a breeding town faraway.
I just turned 12 and things began to become clearer and clearer.
I started watching intelligent movies from which I learnt so much, and this new town we moved into was studded with children whose parents I wanted to be and live like.
I loved the cars and the houses. While I was dressed in rags, I saw children my age playing with toys worth my life.
It wasn’t fair and the footwares they had on was worth more than me at that time.
This didn’t make me think very much, it only got me intimidated and speaking to such kids was something I couldn’t do. I couldn’t speak well. My grammar was broken, unpolished. I was just 12 and ignorant.
The Web Encounter at 14
As time flew past, I turned 14. This was in 2010 and this was the time I got my first Java phone.
It was a flip up Nokia phone, the kind of phone you flip up and close back.
So I was crazy glad I at least now had a phone. This was the red time I was about rounding off secondary school, in Seniors 1.
The phone got me introduced to Google, but that aside, I didn’t do much but receive calls, and send “love” text messages to some girl in same class I was.
We knew nothing. Nothing!
Love was the ideal thing we saw in movies and it only seemed right to get a taste of the feeling. That’s how it all started until she threatened to report one of my many letter to the Principal and paste photocopies of it on every classroom door.
I stopped loving.
With the flip up phone, I was able to sign up on Facebook and shockingly, I thought the device was a Jinn with the first time I encountered Google.
Everything I typed into the search bar brought results! What’s this? I tried typing and asking all sorts of questions but the results kept coming in.
It was stunning yet sad how they never told us about search engines and how to use them at school.
Up to 2014
In 2014, I got a Nokia Symbian phone which was better than the flip up I had.
This was a huge upgrade for me and the Symbian phone got me into a lot of trouble as the strange zeal to surf porn websites and do all sort of negative activities surfaced.
I was just there, spending a lot of time on the internet before something happened.
t was a Christmas and there was no money to get new clothes, a new wristwatch, and toi go shopping.
For the first time I felt that weight. I felt the need to take up responsibility for my own life. I felt the need to make my own money and to put an end to the cycle of lack and want. It was the most terrible of Christmas celebrations for me.
It’s not like a do or die affair to me right now, but back then at this rolling of events, it was. The tradition of purchasing new wears as the year draws the curtain close was irresistibly strong.
The Ultimate Search
I started searching for ways to make money online from the start of 2013 until 2014 when I got to know about blogging and ran into Neil Patel’s blog, Quicksprout.com.
I can’t forget the blog post I fell on that day: 11 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My First Blog.
This post installed the love for blogging into my soul.
From the writing style to the design of the blog, to the voice I literally heard as I read through the posts; everything stuck and I couldn’t stop thinking of it.
This sent me running back to the blog every day as I spent hours reading all I could about Neil Patel, blogging, and SEO.
As I got to read more blogs, I discovered there were more interesting voices littering around in text formats on these blogs.
Blogging was one of the ways to make money online according to a random blog I first go on as I typed in the keywords “ways to make money online”.
And it was the need to know what the word “blogging” means that drove me into this uncalled search for knowledge.
Launching My First Blog
The blog was about search engine optimization, how Google works, and it was getting some genuine visits before I mysteriously forgot the login details to my account.
That was the end of it.
The blog died like that. Access was denied and all attempts to recover the password proved to be a waste of time for me.
The 2-Year Denial Break (2014 – 2016)
I took a break from blogging after this happened. Access to my hard work was denied me. I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for losing memory of such a piece of information.
Getting into School
In the end part of 2014, I got an admission into the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. The University is located in Edo State, Nigeria, and it’s known primarily for cultism. The students there are in one word: hilarious.
Along the line, I got to meet four interesting people: Seyi, Smart, Abdul, and Silas. We stuck together until the very last day at the school. Through the hard and soft times, they held me and I did them too.
I wasn’t willing to further my education and didn’t even bother checking the admission portal online to see if I had been granted admission to study a Course.
I got to know about everything at the time my younger sister told me I had just been given admission into the University to study Library and Information Science.
“What’s Library and Information Science??”
That’s exactly what I asked.
Not to waste time home, my Mom sorted the fees and I was in school. The first day at school I met Abdul, an interesting fashion designer who sorted his fees himself throughout his stay at the school.
He wasn’t a bookworm like I was. Few days later I got to meet Seyi, a passionate learner and calm guy who now runs Banjisblog.
Eventually I met noisy Silas and smart Smart. They made School much fun.
It was never a boring moment with them and I learnt to critically analyze situations from different angles before uttering a verdict.
Talk about the lecturers?
They were a bit fun, some too old, some too serious, but they so got used to teasing us and letting us know we performed worse at every exam we wrote compared to the previous set.
This wasn’t my passion. I wasn’t very passionate about the Course but I did excellently well in every exam simply because I read all-night before the exam mornings.
The truth is; I didn’t know what I was passionate about until I learnt about blogging and came to a balanced understanding of the internet.
2016 (Falling Back to Blogging)
Remember, my grammar was trash. This year, I bought a dictionary and started reading it page after page just to wash up by understanding of words and how to use them best.
I read the dictionary until I ended up more fraustrated. I wanted things to work fast but I was pushing myself too hard.
This is my Second year in School and the fear of ending up jobless compelled to start a side hustle online (before graduation lines up).
Hence, I decided to open my blogging archive with the launch of a news/entertainment-based blog. It wasn’t easy running the news blog but it got me an AdSense approval after 19 tries.
I tried 19 times to get an AdSense account, and when I did, it was in the middle of the night I saw the ads dancing on the homepage! I couldn’t scream! I had failed to get it 19 times.
So the blog was live and active for 2 years but I didn’t make a lot of money from it because I wasn’t consistent and I had hundreds of low quality articles up there.
I thought the more articles you posted on a blog equals more traffic. I didn’t understand the model of Quality over Quantity, and it crushed the blog in the long run.
Unfortunately, the viral news blog was popular and appeared on top news outlets before it crashed.
The blog got retweets from two top music stars in Nigeria and was a source for celebrity net worth info too.
It gave little value and a lot of info about recent happenings. Take Note: little value.
I got to know there’s a difference between giving information and giving value. Values are informational by nature, but not every information is valuable.
The blog earned me about $280 the whole time from AdSense ads. This nice little cash helped in sorting some fees at School after eating up the funds they sent from home. But nobody knew about it and it was cool.
I’ll tell you how the blog crashed:
It got hit by a Google algorithm because I had used too many tools online to build trash backlinks. I was desperate to earn online. Domain Authority fell from 32 to 8 in one day and I was in Shock!
Moz link explorer gave heartbreaking stats, a spam score of 5? Over 17K backlinks with 90% of them coming from websites with Domain Authorities 8 and 10. I regretted my actions, but it instilled patience into my well-being.
My rankings fell flat to the ground like Jericho’s great wall and all I had were social media pages to rank above the domain name itself for keywords I sat on the first spot for.
A Paradigm Shift in Perspective
My vision starting taking a new shape when I thought there was no other way to earn online and live my dream life since blogging failed. I later realized I failed blogging, and there was no way I could stop it.
Serving the Country
After I was done studying at the University, I came out the best male in that set with a G.P. of 4.3. A girl came out with a First-class degree, and all the sleepless nights I had were for a second-class Upper degree.
I had to serve the country to finish up everything that had to do with education primarily. It’s a compulsory 1-year service in Nigeria called NYSC (National Youth Service Corps).
Funny folks interpret it to be “Now Your Struggle Continues”.
Graduated in 2018, it took an extra year for my results to be pasted and printed by the department.
In the fall of 2019, I applied to serve the nation and was posted to a place in Rivers State, Nigeria, called Nkoro.
The Hectic 233-Day Struggle at Nkoro
This is a village. A typical village with no water and traditional rites are things to brag about between elders.
Children in the community had zero respect for the Corpers and unfortunately, I was one of them. My time at the village wasn’t wasted.
I saw life from a different dimension and it reminded me of the place I was born in Benin City. Although this village was a little worse.
Launching a Second “Pro-Blog”
During the 233 days serving at the village, I launched a new blog. The blog was one I launched to keep my writing skills in check primarily.
Second mistake: It was an entertainment blog and you would find celeb bios more. On May 5th, following Google’s Core Update, my rankings plummeted and I closed the blog quickly.
The blog was launched in February 2019, but I started blogging there in February 2020; a year later.
There was no choice, I perceived the blog was hit by the core update and I gave it some time to recover.
Without further hesitation, I deleted all the posts and decided to add value instead in my next path to blogging. In the short while it lasted, $95 bucks rolled in from AdSense ads and nothing more.
It taught me a lesson – to build a blog to add value not just to give information. The contents on the blog were not valuable, they were just informational. They couldn’t help anyone. Honestly.
I’m the second of 3, and I’ve got a brother and sister. They’ve been supportive and caring if not that they see the blogging career which I’ve chosen in solo as a folklore for children.
My Dad passed on even before I got to know him by name, and my Mom, she did all she could to make sure we went through school.
The money wasn’t there, she worked it out. Mothers are simply the best gift we’ve got.
Grandmother (a Second Father)
Not all grandparents care much about their grandchildren. The ones that care, the don’t care like they did their children when they were much younger. This one was different.
Remember I said I lost my Dad? I found another Dad in a Grandmother.
She took care of my siblings and I when no one was there and frequently gave reports to my Mom as to how we wouldn’t stay home and how we go visiting friends without permission.
In the fall of 2019, just before I went to serve, she passed on after fighting Low Blood Sugar. I stayed for two weeks with her at the hospital.
Watched her taking energy drip upon drip.
Watched people die, people yelling, weeping bitterly, mourning.
It was a terrible month, November 2019, but then I learnt how life holds nothing. Whatever value you have to give, give it. From age 2 to 23, she stood there until she couldn’t.
Now I’m done serving. Everybody wants me to get a job. But the problem is, I’m not the 8-5 job kinda guy.
They want me to get paid monthly, jack up my trade by putting food on the table, and be independent.
Sadly, there’s no 9-5 job anywhere. All we’ve got here are 8-5 jobs. Crazy.
There’s a lag in Understanding here…
A job is what you’re paid for. I don’t wanna get paid, I want to run it. I want to see my efforts payoff, and most interestingly, I want to see people live better lives, not the job-driven life.
See, life was made to be lived easily. Everybody wants to get a good job, some others want to live a good life without the job, and a few bunch want to smile to the bank everyday without working or jobbing.
But whenever I preach to them like I just did to you right now, they pay deaf ears and stick with the hope of me getting a job.
The way to become what you seek and want to become is by adding value, and that’s the sole reason I launched StarBulse.
The more value you add and give to people or the society, the more value you get in some other form.
The more value I give you, the more value you would want me to give you in return for something else that I don’t have (but you have).
The Truth is You Matter
I believe there are countless young, middle-aged, and old people out there who want the same thing I do.
Mostly the young ones (not sucklings).
I know you’re part of that bandwagon, and that’s why I created the StarBulse blog.
Get my smart guide to help you raise your own blog from $0 to $2k monthly:
I’m sure you and I can finally work together to defeat the work-life and live the dream-life.
If there’s something you need me to help you get on with, hit me up at Mosesukanna@gmail.com.