How This Food Blog Generated More Than 5 Figures In Profits Without Paid Advertisement

Sharing your expertise in a website can be lucrative side income. This is a case study of Kota Kinabalu food blog where the site generates steady revenue from website advertisement and published food reviews.

Niche: Food review
Earnings: RM250-RM300 per month
Site size: 127 pages
Site age: The year 2013
Traffic: 10,000-12,000 unique visitors per month

Back in 2008, I started personal lifestyle blog and wrote about Kota Kinabalu foods. The post got shared among friends and it became the “go to” food list for many foodies.

The food list was updated again after receiving various feedback, and it went semi-viral around social media. The article ranked on Google search engine and attracted new visitors to my website.

I decided to publish a book about KK foods. However – I decided to cancel the project right before printing.

Shops open and close so quickly – information became obsolete once the book is out

The solution is easy.

Create a standalone website and put entire food reviews there!

So, I purchased

The latest article went crazy viral and it took down my web hosting server.

Best. feeling. ever. has been on the first page ever since. Consistently bringing in website visitors from around the world.

The website has brought many opportunities to my career so far, especially in tourism and F&B industry (this is another story for another day).

This also led to this marketing agency today.

From building this project, I learn how to rank more keywords with SEO, find lucrative keywords to rank, how to get in front of the right target audience, advertising and copywriting etc.

How is this website performing now?

1 – Consistently getting 10,000 – 12,000 unique visitors per month

2 – Dominate top rankings for main keywords

When your article gets mentioned in various large websites and also in social media channels, it sends the signal to Google that ‘this website has useful & relevant content’, and rewards the website by pushing up the website on top of Google organic rankings (means, no need pay for top results). is rewarded with such ranking due to the massive value and content it provides for the visitors.

More keywords are continuing getting indexed and ranked higher til this day.

3 – Evergreen content

The food post was written in 2013, updated on 2014, and stayed that way until today. I have not updated the content for so many years yet the content is still providing massive value for visitors.


Besides being mentioned from other websites, high engagement rate and low bounce rate plays important role in having an article that stayed on top of many keywords.

Visitors loved this article, and so Google keeps the article high in search engine rankings.

PS. Have a website and want to appear high in Google search result? We call this ‘SEO’.

I believe if I continue to post more articles on the blog, the traffic will continue to increase.

4 – Generating passive income since 2013

One of the monetization methods is display advertising, and I only use Adsense for this website. The reason is it’s simple, consistent and not spamming.

Another monetization method is sponsored post, also known as “paid food review”.

Some food outlets wanted more exposure for their new menu or upcoming launch, they want eyeballs on their marketing campaigns. They know this website gets plenty of exposures. so they engage me for paid reviews.

I also sold eBook for $10-$19 a piece but took it down shortly because I feel like it not right for selling the information that’s available for free.

5 – Increase Ads Earnings by 100%

The website is generating steady income – but not much. It earns around AUD$15-20 per month before I started doing A/B testing for the ads.

I updated the website design in 2016 so I can fit in more advertisement without feeling intrusive for the visitors.

Also, I tested the ads in multiple placements, ads sizes, as well as a number of ads.

The site is now steadily making AUD$35-$40 per month via Adsense. It’s not much, but it’s entirely passive.

6 – Next – Conversion Rate Optimisation

I can increase the earnings even more with advanced A/B test. Some elements I might split tests are:

  • logo
  • in-line call to action
    • text
    • color
    • design
  • sidebar call to action
    • text
    • color
    • design
  • introductory copy
  • copy around CTA
  • images

Imagine if I write more food reviews for different cities such as Sandakan, Tawau, Keningau… also foods around major cities of Malaysia.

Big potential, isn’t it?

However, I no longer have the passion for continuing this project anymore. (I have shifted attention to building this marketing agency)

Cheques still coming in month after a month though.

Why am I bragging about this website?

The website has brought me many opportunities, here are some major ones:

  1. Business consultations for F&B industry
  2. Started a travel agency
  3. Dive deep into the world of internet marketing
  4. Given talks at various seminars

The point is – having online assets have brought me many good opportunities. Which is a pleasant surprise.

In fact, not only this website but all my other websites has brought presented me different opportunities time to time. I am grateful to have these online assets.

Would you like to invest in a similar website like this? You provide the cash investment, I provide the technical expertise and strategy. Let’s talk.

Daniel Wong

Daniel Wong

Daniel helps local businesses to build websites that rank on Google and turn the websites into lead generation machine. Internet marketer since 2012.

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