"Mum ... you'll never guess what my boss told me today?"

These were the words that, excitedly, came out of my mouth when I was 17 years old after a day at the office. What "TC" (my boss) had told me before leaving work that day and what my Mum would say in response, would have an impact so invisibly deep it would take TWO DECADES to unravel before making any sense.

I had been working full-time for close to nine months as a "Computer Assistant" by this time. TC had high hopes for me. He had seen me as both a "street-rat-rogue" and a bundle of non-stop energy that was ready to soak-up and learn everything possible in the office. I had worked hard enough to win him over, earning myself a 25% pay increase in those few short months. Pretty good going really.

On this particular day, TC said that if I kept on improving at the same rate I could be earning £6,000 within 2 years. Well, that just sent my excitement off the Richter scale! When I was a kid my Mother banged-on about the "top bosses" earning £6,000 and how hard it was to get that kind of salary. However, here I was being told that I had the potential to earn what a boss-man grossed each year.

Well, when I went home with that fire in my belly and told my Mum what TC had said (which, by the way, was very strange because I NEVER had conversations with my Mum anyway), she said in her usual cutlass-tongue:

"Your boss doesn't know what he's talking about! You'll never be earning that. Only the big bosses earn that kind of money."

There we go again; my mother's refrain. And yes I know, I know - I had heard it all before.

But why was it so different this time? It was different because, this time, it applied to ME. This time it wasn't my Dad. Nor was it one of my 3 older brothers or 4 older sisters. This time it was me ... just me.

And guess what? My Mum was right. I wasn't earning £6,000 two years later; I was earning £10,000! In my usual "I'll show you" style, I took the challenge on and came out ahead. Or had I?

(Let's leave the "inner ramifications" of this event for another post.)

Anyway, my mother, God bless her, did what the vast majority of people do in life, eBay sellers included. And that is ... she stayed Inside the Box. It's a common trap we all fall into at some time or other. However, how much faster will your eBay business grow by thinking outside the eBay box?

Well, where does the majority of a website's traffic come from? Correct ... the search engines. Evidently, SeoMoz.org (and Google themselves of course) believe that, at least, 50% of the global Internet population will turn to Google on the Web, let alone the other search engines.

Every listing that you create on eBay to sell your product range will become a searchable web page. Hence, the same principles relating to keywords, search phrases and Google, apply to your eBay listings too.

So why would it be any different because your Internet business is eBay-driven?

Let's reiterate a point shared on an earlier post: although it's tempting to view eBay as a website with a special case, it isn't. If you're using eBay as your key selling outlet (if not the only outlet), it will grow much, much faster by exploiting the huge traffic that Google, Yahoo and MSN are able to send you.

Ensure that your listing description on eBay is "keyword rich". If you can afford tools such as Keyword Elite and Adwords Analyzer, then they are most definitely worth the investment. When someone is searching for a product they DON'T automatically think "ah-ha, eBay for that". They are most likely to use Google, Yahoo or MSN (or one of the other search engines). That's why Keyword Elite and Adwords Analyzer are vital - they cut down on the time it takes to discover the words potential customers are using to find the product they want; the product you just so happen to sell!

So, think keywords.
Think search engines.
Think EXTRA traffic from Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Above all, think outside of the "eBay Box".

To your rapid growth,