I don't want to scare you*, but the waning print industry, maybe-recession and general prevalence of "We can pay $25 for 500 words :)" isn't such a winning trifecta when it comes to you and your journalism degree. But that just means it's time to get a little creative with your services—hey, like all publicly shamed news personalities before you, you're totally kind-of entitled to a side practice.
Here are all the life skills I'm going to start charging for.
*Except I do, because I just saw Our Brand Is Crisis and learned that works pretty well.
Ship Name Curator
What couple doesn't need to tastefully hybrid their names into a cute and/or punny hashtag on their wedding day?! What, you think you're the only #RachelAndRyan2015? Do you want your friends' precious premature photos getting mixed into someone else's shockingly similar special day? No, you don't.
Suggested Rate: $500* and the leftover wedding cake.
*Rate inflated due to it being a wedding. I also do birthday hashtags for $50, and they're just as good.
Nothing screams "I majored in finance" louder than a typo-riddled Instagram caption. Use your cursor-sharp sleuthing skills (thanks, Info and Visual Resources for Journalists!) to target anyone who has used the following in the past 7 days:
"Friday night with the best."
A string of unironic emojis.
"Night w the boys."
"When in [enter tourist mecca here]."
Help them mix it up with, say, an obscure '90s reference or a topical haiku. You can make this happen.
Suggested Rate: $0.50 a like. $1 a comment. $25 per instance of unattributed caption-poaching.
Social Media Advisor to That MP With Lots of Opinions
Offer to proofread a municipal candidate's tweets. Keep an eye out for things like blatant racism, death threats, and gross misuse of millennial slang. Do a little command-F for words like "whore" and "Auschwitz." Gently suggest Chris Brown take his wife's maiden name for the campaign duration. You know, the basics.
Suggested Rate: $2000 if they make it to election day unscathed.
Answer me this: Do you want the vanilla ice cream, or the vanilla bean ice cream? Do you want the deep-fried pancreas, or do you want the creamy smoked sweetbreads, fried golden and topped with a pimentón aioli? We can make anything sound delicious. Even the Halloween Whopper and its alleged chromatic side effects.
Suggested Rate: $500 per menu. More depending on how much you need to euphemize.
Or "Tinder Takeover Artist" on LinkedIn. Target those whose bios are just a punctuated list of their "interests", also known as basic survival needs ("Food. Exercise. Water. Air. Shelter. Hygiene. Pretty Little Liars."), or non-balding dudes wearing inexplicable hats in all their photos.
Suggested Rate: Bundle a bio, five witty conversation-starters* and one screen-grabbable shut-down for $300.
*Find me one J-School grad who isn't better at sexthings in writing than they are in person (case in point: The inevitable graduating-class chorus chanting "BJ" while accepting their Bachelors of Journalism). Textual banter, on the other hand, is our jam. Don't want none unless you got puns, hun.