9 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 20 Years Ago
The jobs that didn’t exist 20 years ago are, these days, what make much of the world go-round. The advent of the Internet and the opportunities that it has created around a multitude of devices are proof that you never know what the future may hold. When thinking back to 1996 — yes, some of us are old enough to vividly remember — it becomes just how clear the world has changed. Here are 9 jobs that didn’t exist way-back-when.
1. Web copywriter
As much as the world has changed, one of the skills that are still key to online success — or success anywhere for that matter — is the ability to communicate clearly in both written and oral language. As it turns out, web copywriter incorporates both. People in this position need to write like they are having a conversation with their audience. The words and sentences should not be too technical. A well-placed fragment that makes sense also comes in handy. Like this.
The pay for web copywriters can vary greatly based on quality of work available and output. While some just do it as a side job, it’s not unusual to see professionals in this field achieve $100,000 per year or more.
2. Virtual assistant
The job of virtual assistant can run the gamut from data entry to paying an employer’s bills for them and running other online “errands” that may not be directly related to work but could free up some time for work endeavors. Virtual assistants often work for cheap and come from other countries, but not all. Fast moving VAs can make good money.
They usually find employment through an online marketing strategy or through freelancer job sites. Introductory work that pays very little can actually lead to some more lucrative opportunities as employers like to test the waters before getting too far into a lengthier agreement.
3. Online business manager
An online business has a lot of moving parts, from the main publishing platform to all of its offshoots — podcasts, YouTube channels, social media. And that’s before you even get into the weeds of accounting. Online business managers are just that. They are able to oversee the operations for a website platform that may or may not have more than one publishing arm. And by “publishing,” we don’t mean they publish books and magazines. They might, but as used here, the term is more all-encompassing.
OBMs make sure that everything happens as it’s supposed to — that employees and vendors get paid and that revenues are coming in. Since online businesses weren’t really a thing in 1996, we include it here as one of the jobs that didn’t exist.
4. Social media manager
What is this Facebook or Twitter or Google+? Back 20 years ago, we didn’t know. Therefore, it makes the perfect addition to this list. While social media managers operate similarly to blog community builders, it’s a little different because social media is so spontaneous and ever-changing.
You have dynamic tools to learn about your audience and post the type of content — both original and aggregated — that will appeal to their interests and be relevant to your company’s purpose. Social media managers need to be experts at growing audiences, or at least have the ability to find out what their audiences want.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much certified training for this so it’s one of those things where virtually anyone can call themselves a social media manager as long as they find someone to pay their asking price. That said, people who get it can be valuable to a company’s bottom line.
5. Internet marketer
Internet marketers tend to focus on building momentum for online products and services. The goal is to offer some type of free value and build enough trust with an audience, so that they will shop through affiliate links or purchase premium products and services. Internet marketers can target anything from Amazon to web design to work from home opportunities.
Like anything, it takes work to make it a lucrative profession; but those who master it can do quite well without achieving high levels of education.
6. Content strategist
Content strategists are different from content producers. They don’t actually write anything — or if they do, it’s a separate job function. The primary role of a content strategist is self-implied. They develop strategies for certain content and how it will appear before target audiences. They may also manage paid advertising campaigns through ad networks like Facebook, Google or Yahoo.
Bloggers build audiences around certain content niches. They post frequently on topics of interest, and those posts generally take a traditional blend of text and imagery, but some are more apt to use their blog as a launching point for videos and podcasts instead. Any of these three methods can be monetized, usually with the help of social media and online business managers.
Most of a blogger’s content is, and should be, free; but there should be some focus on building a monetized product — books or strategy guides, for instance — and other revenue streams other than advertising.
8. App builder
It’s hard to argue that apps are the future (and probably the present). Apps address a specific need in a more intimate and palatable way for the mobile device audience, and more and more people are including themselves in that group. As a person with the skills to build a viable app that solves just one basic need, you can earn quite a bit of money through advertising and ad-free premium versions that cost a little money upfront.
Some app builders may choose instead to build apps for other people and charge either a one-time fee or an ongoing percentage of profits. Either way, whether you own the app or just built it, you can use it as a viable way to earn money or supplement another product or service.
9. SEO Specialist
Search engine optimization may have been around in a rudimentary form 20 years ago, but it was a much different thing than it is today. In the early days, so-called “black hat” marketers could easily game their way to the top of search listings with trash pages that did nothing to adequately answer users’ inquiries.
Today Google and others in the search business have gotten so good at spotting black hat tactics that a website needs to invest in professionals, who can get pages to the top of listings the right way. There is money in SEO if you understand and do it well, and that’s unlikely to change since audiences — mobile or desktop — still use keywords to find the content they are looking for.
Each of these nine jobs that didn’t exist 20 years ago are viable opportunities in the now, but there are certainly more to come. That’s why taking your classes and studies seriously and getting a good grip on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic is important. What are some jobs that we missed? Sound off in the comments section!
[Image via One-Shift Jobs]