How I Made Over $3000 Per Month, Part Time…While Watching My Kids – by Josh Margulies


josh mMost frum families these days live paycheck to paycheck. Shockingly, families who work harder and bring in more money end up with less—because they get no tuition breaks or financial help. Squeezed by full tuition, mortgage, groceries, simchas, Yom Tov costs, and endless expenses, the money disappears before it comes in, like a giant vacuum cleaner sucking cash from their pockets.

They’re caught in what I call the “vortex of middle class misery.”

Now there’s a solution

Online freelancing is a convenient way for husbands or wives to earn thousands of dollars on the side, right from their laptop, at any hour—even the middle of the night.

This is not “get-rich-quick” or a shortcut. There’s a formula to building a freelancing business. But it’s legit, requires no education or experience, and can bring in $50, $75, even $100 per hour, even after just a few weeks of working. And virtually anyone can do it.

My Story

At 36, I was ready to leave Kollel and become a Rebbi, which seemed simple enough. Since I was already a successful part-time Rebbi, how hard could it be to shift to full-time?

It turns out…VERY HARD.

I was competing with the entire yeshiva world, had zero connections, and my resume kept ending up at the bottom of the pile. There is an old saying, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.” Well, I seemed to know the wrong people.

I soon realized I was more likely to get drafted Quarterback of the Giants than land a fifth grade Rebbi position.

Plan B: Look for a “real” job

Once I gave up full-time Chinuch, I was sure that any smart businessman would see my “true worth”. I was only missing three things—a degree, experience, and connections. Oh, and I had no marketable skills. (Unless you consider eating cholent a marketable skill.)

But I had “ambition.”

Shockingly, nobody was interested in a Kollel guy with no degree, qualifications, or experience, despite my ambition (and my amazing cholent-devouring acumen.)

I felt lonely and worried. How would we pay off the mound of debt we accumulated? Our exorbitant tuition and health care? Make bar mitzvahs? Buy kishka for our precious cholent?

My Exciting Discovery

Then I discovered (thanks to a relative) a website called (formerly Elance), an online marketplace where businesses post thousands of jobs a day, and freelancers bid and get hired. It’s like Amazon and eBay, only instead of books and laptops, you sell your freelance services.

Anyone can create a profile and start bidding on jobs in just a few minutes, regardless of experience. Seriously. There’s no catch.

I became a freelance copy writer, with no degree or writing experience, other than a few local articles. I had never even heard of “copy writing” before. (I assumed it meant helping people secure copywrights for products, but it’s actually unrelated.) I learned most of what I needed to know at “Google University.”

“Copy” is any type of promotional writing—websites, emails, blogs, video scripts, brochures, flyers, even radio commercials. I had never thought about who actually wrote that stuff, but it turns out, specialists called copywriters get paid (nicely) to write them.

I don’t do any design, developing, or coding. I just write the WORDS, and send it to clients as a Word Doc or on Google Drive. Amazing, huh?

One big key to my success is that I shower clients with great service. I respond to emails fast (even late nights and weekends), get enthusiastic about projects, and give away freebies. Clients are not used to freelancers treating them like royalty, so they give great testimonials in return, as you can see on my Upwork profile, which then generate more business. It doesn’t take special talent, just attention to detail.

After a few months, I was getting paid…

● $75 for a 300 word email
● Over $200 for a 450 word video script
● $300+ for a 1000 word webpage

This dream job allowed me to stay in Kollel part-time and still earn a parnassah, working 4 hours a day and making thousands.

I’ve written about cool topics like, logo design, meth-lab cleanup, a popular coffee brand, and hundreds more interesting and fun subjects.

Though online freelancing takes some effort (like anything worthwhile), it’s not stressful. I work smarter, not harder—researching subject-matter, editing like a maniac, and sweating over proposals for new clients.

It takes a little patience, but it’s very “k’dai.”

One thing I like to tell people is that non-writers can totally break into this field. It’s not rocket science, and you don’t need to be born with talent. (I myself used to be a terrible writer.) Anyone with decent communication skills can pull it off. In fact, great copy is SUPPOSED to be written on a fifth grade level.

If you can communicate ideas clearly, you can be a professional copy writer like me, even if you’ve never written before.

Ironically, my years in yeshiva TRAINED me to write well. Learning Gemara is about analyzing and getting to the core idea. The essence of copy writing is also taking complex ideas and breaking them down into simple and interesting words.

A lot of friends have asked me to help them (and their wives) become freelance writers. So I’ve created a FREE 5 part email series that will tell you all the basics you need to get started right away.

If you follow these simple lessons, and put in some practice, you should be able to start bidding on jobs and writing for money in just a few days.

Yaakov (Josh) Margulies is a freelance writer on a mission to help frum families earn extra money. For information on how to become an online freelancer, email [email protected]

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  1. When I saw the headline, I got ready to read another quick rich pyramid scheme. BH I was proved wrong. I have used elance and now up work extensivly and it’s a great honest way to make a living. I applaud you for this article and for what you are doing. Ashrecha

  2. Great to hear all of your comments and support!
    For those of you interested in my free 5 email lessons, please email [email protected], subject: Freelance Course, and you’ll be signed up and notified within 48 hours. There will also be a link available with my next Scoop article in the next few days.

  3. Please google reviews to get the full picture and potential pitfalls of this site before investing your time and effort into their platform.

  4. You call $3000 a month real money??? How can someone live off that?? In today’s world an average family can cost over $100,000 a year!!!! And that’s without fancy clothing , and big vacations. Just paying all your bills and living normally. What’s your thoughts?

  5. many many horror
    stories out there about unpaid work, random account and fund lockouts and major technical issues since swallowed the other companies. What has youe experience been? have you encountered these issues?

  6. Thank you all for the feedback! Also, I appreciate the overwhelming email response. If you have specific questions, please email me, I’ll do my best to respond promptly.
    I’ve had a wonderful Upwork experience–quick payment, secure funds, no glitches or fund lockouts. Part of that is knowing how to find solid clients, which I will address in coming weeks.
    If you look at my profile here you can see my actual earnings. If you email me, I’ll be happy to send you screenshots of my personal Upwork account.

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