Best TOOLS AND SOFTWARE to make an online course (2020 recommendations) πŸŽ₯πŸŽ›πŸŽ™πŸ–₯

If you’ve spent any time looking into what
kind of equipment or software to use to create and sell your online course, you might be
feeling overwhelmed and stuck, like I do when I’m scrolling through thousands of thumbnails
on Netflix trying to figure out what movie or show I want to watch next. Don’t be like me and spend an hour scrolling
endlessly only to drop your phone on your face as you doze off, let me talk you through
some of the equipment and software you’ll need, and some of our best recommendations
for 2019. Let’s get into it. Hello creators, I’m Ben Toalson from Podia
where we empower creators to make a living doing what they love. In today’s video I want to help you stop
feeling overwhelmed by endless selection of tools out their for creators, and share some
of our favorite tools along with some pros and cons. I’ll start with an overview of the various
types of equipment and software you might need, and then I’ll break those down further
into specific recommendations. For this video, we’re going to assume you
already have access to a computer that’s powerful enough to run recording and editing
software. Here we go. To capture video and audio for your course,
you’ll need the following tools. For audio, you’ll need a microphone, some
kind of interface that allows your microphone to send audio to your computer you’ll need
the appropriate wires and cables to make your microphone work, a set of headphones, and
possibly other adapters and accessories like pop-filters, a microphone stand, or a boom
arm. For video, you’ll need a camera of some
kind whether that’s your phone or a nicer DSLR, storage media for your video files,
like an SD card or external hard drive, a tripod along with the proper clip to attach
your camera, at least a basic lighting set-up, and possibly some other items to enhance your
background or setting like a backdrop or special background lighting elements. Additional equipment might include visual
aids like a whiteboard or large note pad, rigs for overhead shot demonstrations, or
other course specific equipment. In order to capture, edit, and publish your
course, you’ll need the following: Audio recording and editing software to capture
and edit your audio A video editing and rendering program so you
can edit and export individual lesson files. Screen recording software for anything you’ll
need to demonstrate from your screen. Graphic design software to provide interesting
visual aids along with your course info. Some kind of writing tool so you can outline
and prepare your course. And a platform where you can upload and sell
your course. Now that we’ve given an overview of the
various types of equipment, let’s get into the recommendations. We are going to start with microphones. The audio quality of your course is actually
one of the most important factors in overall quality. People are generally more tolerant of lower
quality video as long as the audio quality is good, but bad audio quality can ruin the
whole experience. That’s why these recommendations, regardless
of cost, focus on quality first. There are a few different types of microphones
to consider based on how you plan to use them for your course. A desk or stand mounted microphone can be
used if you don’t plan to appear on video and are just doing voice over recording. On the lower end, we recommend the Blue Yeti
USB microphone. For the money it’s some of the best quality
you can get out of a USB mic and includes its own stand, a handful of different recording
modes, output level control, an onboard mute switch, a headphone jack so you can monitor
your audio directly, and an onboard volume control for your headphones. Some of the drawbacks are it does not include
a built in pop filter, so you’ll need to purchase one separately, it can be especially
sensitive to vibrations in whatever surface it’s resting on, and if you are using more
than one on the same machine, your computer may have trouble recognizing each individual
microphone as its own device. All in all, it’s a great starter microphone
for the price and the setup couldn’t be simpler. It’s powered from USB so once you plug it
into your computer and select it as the audio input device, you’re ready to go! On the higher end of the spectrum is the Shure
SM7B. This microphone is considered the gold standard
for dynamic microphones and is used in a wide variety of professional recording settings. This microphone will make your voice sound
full and clear, as if you’re right there in the room with your student. It has a built in pop-filter and a few different
EQ settings you can adjust on the microphone itself. In order to use this microphone with your
computer, you will have to purchase a few things separately. An audio interface that will convert the analog
signal from the microphone to a digital signal your computer can actually record, a microphone
cable, and a stand. If you do plan to be on video for your course,
these microphones can work, but they’re not as well suited for getting a clear recording
while still being out of frame. If you want your microphone to be invisible,
it’s best to use a shotgun mic or lapel mic. I’ll give shotgun mic recommendations first. On the lower end is the TAKSTAR SGC-598. This microphone will actually plug directly
into your DSLR’s audio input and has a hot shoe mount so you can attach it to your camera. It has two EQ settings that you can adjust
on the microphone itself and comes with a detachable windscreen. On the down-side, this microphone is specifically
designed to be used with a camera, so if you want to set it up with a mic stand and route
the audio to your computer, you’ll have to buy the necessary adapters to make that
work. Also, it’s powered by a single AA battery
and, while the battery can last a long time, it’s easy to forget to turn it off which
can leave you with a dead microphone. On the high end is the Rode NTG2 powered condenser
shotgun microphone. This microphone is a broadcast quality mic
that does an excellent job of capturing its subject without getting additional background
noise in the mix. It’s built in a sturdy metal enclosure and
features a high pass filter to get rid of air conditioner or road noise. While it does run on a single AA battery,
it can also run on phantom power from a professional camera or powered mixer. If you intend to use this directly with your
camera, you will need to get the proper adapters. Another option for capturing your audio without
showing the microphone is a lapel mic. A lapel mic can be especially useful if you
plan to move around or face away from the camera from time to time because it goes with
you wherever you go. On the low end, is the Rode smartlav+. It works by plugging it directly into your
phone and using the native recording app, or the RODE Rec app. It’s extremely easy to set up and the audio
capture is loud and clear and surprisingly good quality for such an inexpensive microphone. The audio can tend to be too loud when recording
using your phone’s native recording app, and while the RODE Rec app allows you to adjust
the input level, the app can be a bit buggy and difficult to use. Also, because it’s a TRRS input, it can
be difficult to convert the audio signal to something that can plug into your camera or
your computer. Still, for the price it’s a great quality
and easy to use microphone. On the higher end is the Shure BLX14 wireless
system. This microphone delivers high quality audio
and is relatively easy to set up and use right out of the box. The signal between the transmitter and receiver
is clean and clear from up to 300 feet away. The set up is a bit more complicated than
the smartlav+ and the transmitter pack requires batteries in order to run. You’ll also need to get additional adapters
or equipment in order to send the audio to your camera or computer. So that does it for microphones. Earlier I mentioned audio interfaces, which
converts the analog signal from your microphone into a high quality digital signal that can
be recorded directly onto your computer. On the low end is the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. It’s really easy to set up and features
a headphone jack and an onboard monitoring control. It’s also USB powered, so you don’t have
to plug in a separate power supply. It does only accept a single XLR input, so
you wouldn’t be able to use more than one microphone with it. On the higher end is the Universal Audio Apollo
Twin MKII Solo. This is the cream of the crop when it comes
to converting analog to digital. Because the audio signal is transmitted through
thunderbolt, there is virtually zero loss of quality between what your microphone captures
and what your computer receives. It also processes the audio on-board so you
don’t have to spend any time fixing the EQ or doing post processing on your computer. On the down-side the initial set up is more
complicated and it can only work with mac computers unless you purchase a special thunderbolt
expansion card for your PC. Now on to video equipment Using your phone to capture video is absolutely
a viable option, but if you’re wanting to improve your quality it might be time to start
shifting to DSLR. For this section we’re going to focus exclusively
on DSLRs. On the lower end is the PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300. This camera comes equipped with a built in
lens, a ton of manual video functions, an articulating touch screen monitor, microphone
input, and it shoots in 4K. All for less than $400. While the built in lens is versatile, you
can’t change it out with a different lens which limits the types of shots you’re able
to produce. Also, while the quality is good, this camera
just isn’t going to perform as well as a higher end DSLR in situations where the lighting
isn’t perfect. On the higher end is the Blackmagic Design
Pocket Cinema 4K. The image quality of this camera is stunning
to say the least. The monitor is large and bright and doubles
as a touch screen with intuitive controls. While the body of the camera itself isn’t
too expensive, you will have to purchase a lens separately, and the monitoring screen
does not flip or move, so if you want to be able to see yourself while recording, you’ll
have to purchase a separate video monitor. One of the ways you can dramatically improve
the quality of your video is with lighting. The most common lighting technique is a 3
point lighting setup. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes
to lighting that we won’t be covering in this video, but leave a comment below if you’d
like us to go more in depth on lighting. Keep in mind that natural light sources can
work as well if you understand how to use 3 point lighting, but for the most control
over your lighting environment, a 3 point lighting kit is a great place to start. On the low end is the MOUNTDOG 1350W Photography
Studio. This lighting kit and other lesser known brands
like it are great if you’re just starting out. They make your lighting setup simple but effective. On the downside, the bulbs are pretty delicate
and the stands and boxes aren’t as sturdy as more expensive models, so you’ll have
to be careful if you plan to set up and tear down frequently. Oh the higher end we’ve got the Neewer 3
Packs 660 LED. These LED panels deliver soft, bright light,
with adjustable color temperature and brightness, and include barn doors so you can adjust the
direction of the light to prevent bounce-off lighting. This package also comes with battery packs
so you can set up your lights on the go. You may want to invest in sturdier light stands
for the long-term, but it really is solid lighting, even if you’re on a budget. Once you’ve got the equipment you need to
capture everything, you still need to be able to write, record, edit, and publish. For that, you need software. So here are some software recommendations,
again including a range from low cost or free to higher cost, with pros and cons for each
recommendation. Audio recording If you plan to record directly into your computer
or even if you want to be able to edit your audio later, you need some type of audio editing
software. Audacity and Garage band are great options
that you can use for free and that work really well for basic audio recording and editing. Some of the tools are not quite as intuitive
as paid software and you’ll be limited in how much post processing you can apply to
your recording. Also, while Audacity can be used on both Mac
and PC, Garage band is only available for Mac. If you want to step up your quality and have
more options for making your audio sound great, Logic Pro X gets the job done. If you’re already familiar with some of
the tools in Garage Band there can be less of a learning curve, but it will still take
some time to get familiar with the various tools and shortcuts. Logic Pro X, like Garage band, is only available
for Mac, but a comparable program for Windows is Adobe Audition which you can use if you
subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Screen capture Screen capture software is a must-have if
some of your course material centers around things that you have to do on a computer,
like building websites, graphic design, or using specific software or web based tools. APowerSoft Free Online Screen Recorder is,
you guessed it, free. For a free tool though it has a ton of great
features, including unlimited recording time, an annotations tool that you can use in real
time, and the ability to save files to multiple formats. The only downsides are you have to install
the launcher tool, even if you’re using the free version, and you can’t record footage
of full-screen applications (such as video games) unless in Windowed mode Screenflow is a paid application that really
soars, not just for this specific category, but also for audio capture and video editing. Some of the best features are the ability
to record full screen at 2880×1800 resolution, publishing directly to YouTube or Dropbox
right from inside the app, and the incredibly easy to use interface. Unfortunately this is also a Mac only product. If you’re a windows user, you might consider
purchasing snagit. While it’s not capable of as many different
functions as Screenflow, Snagit still offers a range of features you may not see in a free
product. Video editing One of the best free video editing tools out
there is Hitfilm Express. It offers most of the same standard features
you’d see in professional video editing software, as well as advanced features like
green-screen effects, color grading, visual effects, and more, all for free. It does have a steeper learning curve, so
if you’re newer to video editing you might find it challenging to get started. If you’re willing to spend some money, Final
Cut Pro is a very powerful yet easy to use video editing program. It’s optimized to work fast without putting
too much strain on your computer, and it’s relatively easy to learn, even for beginners. Final Cut Pro is also a Mac only product,
but Adobe Premier Pro has similar features, is also easy to use, and works on both Mac
and windows. Graphic design Using graphic designs and illustrations can
be a great way to keep your students engaged and interested. If you don’t have a lot of experience using
design programs, Canva can be a great option. Canva is a web based tool that allows you
to create documents, edit photos and more. You could have zero design experience and,
using their pre-designed layouts, come out with beautifully designed slides and graphics
for your course. The free plan does have some limitations on
which images and illustrations you’re able to use, and if you’re used to more robust
graphic design software, the features in Canva can feel a bit basic. Some of the best paid options are actually
a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are
still among the most versatile tools for creating amazing graphics. They also share some cross compatibility with
other programs in the suite, which can speed up your workflow. Though they are powerful tools, each program
is relatively complex and may take some time to learn before you really feel comfortable
with the tools. Writing Writing is a foundational part of creating
your online course, so it’s important to find a writing tool that’s a good fit for
you. My two favorites are Google docs and Dropbox
paper. Both are free to use and make it easy to write
and share across multiple devices. I like the dropbox paper writing experience
a little better because of how simple and clean it is, but google docs has some features
I enjoy that aren’t available in dropbox paper. Ultimately the best writing tool is the one
that you’ll actually use, so find one that works best for you. And of course, if you make a course, you’ll
need a place to host your course! That’s where Podia comes in. We’ve made a variety of tools to help you
make and sell your online course. These are all available from your Podia dashboard. Video hosting There are a ton of video hosting solutions
to choose from, including YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, VidYard and more. But between limitations on the kind of content
you can upload to restrictions on everything from duration to output formats, you’re at
the mercy of whichever platform you choose. When you host your video on Podia, you can
be certain your videos won’t suddenly be taken down without warning, monetized by other companies’
ads, or deleted mistakenly by automated content audits or copyright take-down notices. Email marketing Even today, email marketing is still the most
powerful sales channel for course creators. Services like MailChimp are awesome, but Podia’s
email marketing services were designed specifically for content creators like you. We can help you build your email list, refine
your messaging to maximize open rates, and design beautiful emails that are as delightful
to look at as the rest of your content. You can even create drip campaigns to nurture
prospective students as they become more familiar with you and your courses. Landing page software Landing pages are crucial to the success of
any online marketing campaign. There are plenty of great landing page tools
out there, but if you want to keep everything in one place, Podia’s sales page tools can
help you build strong, engaging sales pages that drive conversions – all without leaving
Podia. Our sales pages look beautiful, but they’re
also optimized to drive conversions, gather email addresses, and help you tell your story. Content delivery Making your course is only half the battle
– you need to get your course in front of motivated customers if you’re going maximize
its earning potential. Podia’s storefronts are designed to help you
sell courses, as well as digital downloads and memberships. The best part is, your customers don’t need
to register a Podia account to purchase your products; all they need is an email address
and a credit card and they’ll be learning from you in seconds. Access management Once you’ve established your digital storefront
for your online course, you need to manage that content. We makes it easy to manage who sees what and
when. With password protection and a range of other
features, Podia takes the hassle out of managing access to your content, so you can focus on
creating even more amazing content, while we worry about keeping everything safe. E-commerce software If you’ve tried to integrate e-commerce
plugins or software with your website, you know how much of a hassle it can be. With Podia’s built-in checkout tools, you’ll
never have to worry about wrestling with another e-commerce platform again. With our e-commerce tools you don’t need to
be a developer or an economics major to start selling your course. It’s simple. Create your course, connect your PayPal or
Stripe account and then let Podia power your checkout flow from start to finish, including
transaction processing, detailed sales records, and more. As you can see, we’ve covered a ton of ground
but have really only touched on a fraction of the available tools and software out there
for creators. Are there tools or software you would recommend
that we didn’t mention? What are some of your go-to tools for creating
and why do you love them? Tell me in the comments below. If you found this video useful and want more
relevant content like this, click the subscribe button and hit the notification bell so you
can be the first to know when we post a new video. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you
next time.

4 thoughts on “Best TOOLS AND SOFTWARE to make an online course (2020 recommendations) πŸŽ₯πŸŽ›πŸŽ™πŸ–₯

  • August 29, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    This is a HUGE list of tools and software, but we're barely scratching the surface. What are some of your favorite tools or software for creating an online course?

  • August 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Love my Blue Yeti mic! Definitely recommend! Ugh I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to TURN ON the mic. Finally got the Rode VideoMicro so I wouldn’t have to deal with turning on/off πŸ˜… What mic did you use for this video? Sounds amazing. Also, are you using a teleprompter? I’ve been thinking about one but I feel like it’ll make me sound like a robot. You don’t sound like a robot so good job. I’ll throw in my two cents and say that I love my Canon M50! πŸ“Ή I use it for my tutorials, my online courses, and my vlogs. I used ScreenFlow for my first course, really liked it. Now I just QuickTime! For editing, I use Final Cut Pro but I used iMovie for my first 350 videos. Happy you recommend Canva, a MUST for all content creators. Thanks for the vid! Finally signed up for Podia yesterday.. EXCITED TO BUILD MY EPIC ONLINE SCHOOL YEAH! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

  • February 4, 2020 at 2:34 am

    You guys are freaking FANTASTIC, thank you for all this EPIC content and I love what I've learned about Podia, solves so many problems for me as a course creator- super excited to get rolling on the platform!!! Cheers guys!

  • February 5, 2020 at 5:04 am

    I think your clients might like Screen-cast-o-matic (a low cost screen and audio capture and editting web app kinda thing)


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