Patrick Ruddell, aka Chef Patrick, is a real estate investor turned domainer. He’s also the well know personality behind ChefPatrick.com, co-host of Domain Masters Radio, Captain of the Domain Cruise, speaker, and a former Domain Sales Specialist for Oversee.net. You may have seen his videos on his blog or at Bido, where he provided a clip of marketing tips. Aside from his busy schedule and spending time with his family, Patrick made some time to answer some questions me.
Mike: Let’s start out with your role at Oversee.net. You recently announced that you left the company. Any comment on the separation?
Patrick: Visit http://www.chefpatrick.com/goodbye-oversee-chef-patrick-is-back/.
Mike: Last year you organized the successful domain cruise? How difficult is it to pull an event like that together? What would you say was the most successful part? Can we expect a Domain Cruise II?
Patrick: Thank you. I’d say this is a tie between two things, marketing budget and time. Total spent in marketing the first DNCruise was less than $500. I got a lot of support from fellow bloggers and friends. And for time, well my wife and I spent hours upon hours on the phone booking people and making sure all the details were correct.
Yes, without a doubt there will be a DNCruise 2011. In fact we just announced this week our next cruising dates and big news that Frank Schilling will be joining us in Grand Cayman. Visit DNCruise.com for more details!!!
Mike: You come from a real estate background. I often hear similarities drawn between real estate and domaining. Having experience in both industries, are there similarities and lessons that can be carried from one industry to the other? Are we in a domaining bubble?
Patrick: Definitely. I look at a domain name like a vacant piece of land. It can either be developed or sold as-is when the right buyer comes along. When explaining domain names to less web savvy clients I continually use the analogies of land/houses and domains.
No domaining bubble that I know of. 2010 was my best year yet.
Mike: You have met and interviewed some pretty important people in the domain industry. I realized it’s a difficult question to answer, but who would you say have been the most influential to the industry?
Patrick: Wow, this is a very tough question. Most influential to the industry would have to be between Monte Cahn and Bob Parsons’. Monte has been a part of over $300 million in domain name sales and Bob has over 45 million domain names registered with GoDaddy. Bob’s marketing, although not intentional, has done a lot to bring domain names main stream.
Mike: What is your current domaining strategy? Do you prefer to buy and flip, invest long term, or develop? Why is that your preference?
Patrick: I am all over the board on this one. In the past I would have said buy and flip, but now that there is less need to make a quick dollar I’m becoming more patient and working towards bigger sales. I am also in the process of developing multiple websites, ScienceFiction.com being the top name. Each website is its own business. In fact that’s a big tip to new and old investors, treat your developments as unique businesses, no two are the same.
Mike: I’m curious, where did the “Chef” in “Chef Patrick” originate?
Patrick: Roughly 2 ½ years ago a fellow NamePros forum member and domainer sold me DNKitchen.com. Well, I loved it so much I made it my primary blog and of course all kitchens need a head chef. Add the tag line “What’s Cooking In The Domain World” and it’s a hit recipe.
Mike: Like many domainers, full-time and part-time, you’re a busy guy with many demands on your time. How do you manage to keep everything moving?
Patrick: I have to admit, I am disorganized and probably not the best person to give advice. The one suggestion I’ll give is focus on money generating activities and cut out the fat. I’m also extremely lucky to have an amazing wife that helps where needed. My wife is my business partner, best friend and a so much more.
Mike: If you were able to start your domaining career over today, with all the knowledge you currently possess, what would you do differently?
Patrick: I wouldn’t change a single thing. First thing I did was make a lot of mistakes. I’m the type of person that needs to learn from mistakes, not reading a book or watching someone else. I’m extremely proud of my brand “Chef Patrick” and everything I have been able to do with it. I can honestly say I have earned a very good full time living from domain names for the last three years.
Mike: You were sited in TechCrunch for the acquisition of ScienceFiction.com. What attracted you to this particular domain and what is your ultimate vision here?
Patrick: At first, the price. I believe it was a steal at $175,000 and if need be my partners and I could turn around and sell it for maybe twice that amount. After seeing the domain name only side of things I quickly shifted to what if this was developed. The Science Fiction community is very strong and loyal.
The end goal is to continue developing a niche news site for the community, eventually monetize and possibly sell to a larger media company.
Mike: What type of traffic does the site currently receive and what is your ultimate expectation?
Patrick: We started with 50 a day just from the domain name and after our first full month we receive 1,300 visits per day. Our major competition is getting over a million visits per month, so our goal is around there.
Mike: How do you plan to monetize the site?
The site reviews a lot of books, games, movies and so forth. I believe it’s a good opportunity to test some affiliate programs like Amazon. The primary goal once traffic reaches 100,000 visits per month is to sell direct advertising.
Thank you for the interview Mike, I greatly appreciate it. If your readers would like to get in touch with me they can do so through ChefPatrick.com. And of course everyone should book quickly for DNCruise 2011 at DNCruise.com.