In the last 6 months, I have personally studied and tested 67 software, hardware, and tips to create successful tutorials and video courses to sell on the internet.
And now you can filter this list to immediately find what you need and immediately run to produce your next course.
Take a look, start with the one that inspires you the most, and read all the way through because I’ve prepared something really special for you, and I want to make sure you don’t miss it.
Planning and Writing Course Contents
When you want to create a tutorial or video course, you usually follow this consolidated scheme:
- Collection of material.
- Creating an index.
- Writing of individual chapters and lessons
Itisanewtypeoftoolthatallowsyoutogiveshapetoyourideas with lists, outlines, and cards, all in the same clean interface. Let your ideas flow freely in their place and then quickly rearrange them by dragging them with the mouse. Ideal for your video course.
Price: Freemium (free up to 200 items, then from $2/month).
It is the preferred software for managing projects quickly and not too complex; extremely versatile, intuitive, and customizable. It will allow you to create an index without effort and move individual lessons with a simple drag & drop.
It is ideal for those who start out and don’t want things that are too complex but without sacrificing design. Every time you click the plus sign to create a new child node, Coggle will automatically choose the direction and placement of the new node. But you can always drag the nodes around to rearrange them into a format that fits the layout a little better.
Price: Freemium (free up to 3 maps, then from $5/month).
Probablythebestmindmappingsoftwaretoworkwitha team. It’s a robust tool that ranges from quick keyboard shortcuts to the ability to embed live video within your nodes. Its collaboration capabilities are extensive: you can add team members to your mind map, improve ideas and ratings, and leave comments.
Price: Freemium (free up to 3 maps, then from $4.95/month).
It’s not just a mind mapping tool.To create all kinds of diagrams, you’ll have to work a bit harder to manually add connecting lines between ideas and rearrange them so that everything fits the canvas perfectly. Some people, however, will prefer the lack of patterns because it gives a little more freedom to find new, unexpected correlations between ideas.
Turn traditional mind maps into sticky notes, rather than knots and branches, to organize your ideas. Think of it as a huge blackboard full of colorful post-it notes, where you group your notes into different areas of the screen and then drag them to create forms, chapters, and special sections.
Price: Freemium (free up to 5 maps, then from $9.95/month).
Create Effective Slides with a Beautiful Design
The more time passes, the more I realize that creating well-made, useful, and eye-catching slides is more and more difficult; the standard, instead, is to see dense, illegible, deadly boring slides, all the same, and with combinations of colors and elementary school images. And I’m not kidding…
What you need to create really professional slides (especially when you’re a beginner) are:
- A clean, minimalist design.
- Few contents and large writings.
- Consistent animations and transitions reduced to the bone.
7. Google slides
If you are looking for a tool to create slides quickly, for free and with many customization options, this is for you. Plus, if you work in a team, it allows you to collaborate with colleagues, share them easily for review and create effective presentations.
Plus, you can easily export your slides to PDF, Powerpoint, and Keynote to get maximum compatibility and present your ideas easily, without the need for cables because it supports Chromecast, Hangouts, and AirPlay.
8. Microsoft PowerPoint 365
For Windows users, this is the top tool to create your slides. It has the most innovative functions, with endless possibilities to animate your slides, create special transitions, and customize every detail. Recommended for those who want to get the best and give a super professional image.
Price: Freemium (free online version, otherwise from $7/month).
9. Apple Keynote
The equivalent of Powerpoint for the Appleworld— simply extraordinary. Its animations and special effects will add class and elegance to any presentation.
Keynote gives you everything you need for a great show. The neat, intuitive interface puts all the tools you need to add effective graphics, retouch photos and apply spectacular effects in just a few moves. And on your iPhone or iPad, you can try the slideshow anywhere you want by checking the current slide, the next slide, notes, and even the clock in a single view.
It helps to reinvent the art of creating presentations because it goes beyond the slide concept and is designed for people who are not designers. “Conversational presentations” will allow you to adapt your presentation for a more meaningful and engaging experience.
Nothing resembles a Prezi presentation and no other software is as engaging, persuasive, and memorable. If you want to break through with something truly innovative and different from the crowd, Prezi is what you need to get noticed.
Price: Freemium (advanced features from $7/month).
If you need ideas for content or examples of really well-made presentations and slides, Slideshare is a real favorite. It will help you, especially if you start from scratch, to generate lots of ideas for designing and building your slides using very effective schemes and taking inspiration from the most elegant and engaging designs you can find on the web. You’ll also find lots of complete presentations, full of useful and non-trivial data to include in your courses.
Most people have developed a trained eye to detect when a presentation is not aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but unless you are an experienced designer, few have the skills or knowledge to produce an aesthetically ideal and balanced presentation. In SlidesCarnival you’ll find plenty of super appealing templates ready to fit into your Powerpoint, Keynote, or Google Presentations.
Record the Screen to Create Screencasts and Tutorials
The first type of video you want to create for your course or tutorial is to show what you see on your screen (slides, programs, or websites) and comment on it with audio.
Technically it’s the one that requires minimum investment but the risk is that if you do as most people I see on YouTube, you end up creating deadly boring videos that no one will ever watch.
That’s why it’s important:
- to take care of the slides.
- to work a lot on the use of your voice.
- to insert animations and special effects.
- to make ruthless cuts of breaks and unnecessary parts.
It’s the easiest and most complete software to use for the beginners. It’s intuitive, feature-rich, and 100% cross- platform (with PC, Mac, Android, and iOS versions). A paid version is highly recommended for longer and high-definition recordings (no watermark). You can’t miss it in your toolbox. Besides, it has a rich library of step-by-step tutorials and a very rich content blog with interesting ideas for those who want to create video courses or simple tutorials.
Price: Freemium (advanced versions from $12/year).
Ideal if you want to create quick videos, especially commenting on websites or software; it allows you to record yourself while you talk and give directions and shows you in an elegant circle that you can place wherever you want. Also very useful to share video comments quickly with your colleagues or customers.
Price: Freemium (advanced versions from $5/month).
A very versatile software that allows you to capture a browser tab, the whole screen, or just your webcam; record even if you don’t have a connection and thanks to a few but effective mouse annotation and highlighting tools it will help you create videos that keep your audience’s attention high.
Price: Freemium (free up to 5 minutes of video, then $25/year).
16. Camtasia Studio 2020
It is one of the most widely used software (for both macOS and PC) for creating movies, especially when it comes to screencasts or recording a slide show, including capturing the webcam on a separate video track.
At the end of the recording, thanks to its powerful built-in editor, it then allows you to edit videos by applying various effects to them, removing their imperfections, and optimizing their format for various devices or online services. It also allows you to add special effects and animations quickly and easily with just a few clicks and also taking advantage of very comfortable and well made preset templates.
If you want to create professional tutorials or video courses using slides or desktop recording is a tool that absolutely cannot be missing in your toolbox.
If you use an Apple device, this is THE solution you need: not only to record amazing tutorials but also to do semi-professional video editing. Despite these advanced features it’s extremely simple and intuitive to use, and, compared to Camtasia, it has better audio and video filters and the sound effects are great; not to mention it costs half as much as Camtasia and there’s also the iPhone and iPad app.
Price: from $129.
It is an encoder for video and audio streaming, which offers different recording possibilities and grace to which you can make both screencasts (i.e., a screen and audio recording) and live streaming (i.e., live broadcasts, ideal if you have a Youtube channel, a Facebook page or you are a passionate gamer).
It’s a video direction software, that’s why it offers the greatest possibilities of customization during the recording phase, however, it is not designed for the next editing phase and, unlike other software, it provides a single video that, therefore, cannot be modified in the individual components once it has been created.
Microphones for Quality Audio
19. Lavalier Microphone
The BOYA BY-M1 is an omnidirectional clip microphone, ideal for video use, designed for smartphones, SLR cameras, camcorders, audio recorders, PCs, etc. The flap has an omnidirectional polar microphone for 360-degree coverage. It has a long 6 meters cable (with 3.5 mm gold jack) to be easily connected to camcorders or smartphones placed not close to the speaker.
20. Headband Microphone
The Sennheiser PC 8 USB is suggested in case you need to move around a lot and need to record (especially screencasts) in environments with moderate background noise.
It is very light and provides good audio for both recording and music; the microphone, being close to the mouth, is sensitive and clear in voice reproduction with ambient noise suppression.
Equipped with microphone mute and volume control on the cable is also very practical in smart working conditions.
Obviously, it can only be used connected to PC/Mac and not to external smartphones or video cameras.
21. Condenser Microphone
The Rode VideoMic Rycote is a shotgun microphone that receives audio directly without capturing side noises. It’s, therefore, the obvious choice in an outdoor shooting where the subject moves a lot, changes frequently (for example when you have 2/3 speakers), or the use of a lavalier microphone is not recommended for aesthetic reasons.
It can be easily mounted on SLR cameras and, with smartphone adapters, you can also connect it to phones or tablets for low-budget recordings.
22. USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti is an excellent USB microphone that produces crystal clear, powerful, and professional quality sound for podcast recordings, YouTube productions, streaming games, Skype, and music.
The Yeti’s proprietary 3-capsule technology, with cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo modes, offers incredible versatility and allows you to record and stream in modes that would normally require multiple microphones.
The Yeti Blue also offers studio controls for headphone volume, mode selection, mute, and microphone gain for total control of the recording process. Set up in seconds with the desktop stand or connect directly to a microphone stand or folding arm.
If you don’t have a lot of space and want great sound quality, this is an excellent choice, especially when combined with a folding arm (which allows you to adjust the position and dampen the knocks on the table) and an anti-pop filter (see below).
23. Condenser USB Microphone
If you often have to record interviews or tutorials in different places it is useful to have a good quality, lightweight, and easily portable microphone.
In this case, I recommend the Samson Meteor MIC, a portable USB studio condenser microphone for recording directly on your computer. Perfect for your home studio, Meteor Mic is also ideal for podcasting, music recording, games, Skype, or streaming.
It is a cardioid microphone (directional type) and therefore allows you to isolate background noise very well, plus the 3.5mm stereo headphone output with level control allows you to hear the exact sound you are recording. Definitely recommended if you want to get started and don’t have a big budget.
24. Desktop Microphone Stand
Whether you want to stream online, manage challenging vlogs or podcasts, or record video courses and tutorials, your microphone needs to be set up perfectly. With the adjustable microphone stand and the mounting clamp on the table, you can easily and firmly attach the microphone.
Plus, the included shock mount will prevent vibrations from reaching the microphone shaft, giving you an even cleaner sound.
It fits all commonly used microphones (5/8″ screw adapter included), can support microphones weighing up to 900 grams, and the built-in 290 cm cable with USB-B connector ensures easy connection of the microphone to your PC or laptop.
25. Pop Filter
It eliminates the main problem you have when you talk very close to the microphone: air blasts (plosives).
This way you get a clearer and more pleasant sound, attenuating the sibilant and smoothing sounds that occur when you say the letter “S” and blocking the explosive sounds that follow “B” and “P”.
It is flexible and easily adjustable to fit various types of microphones and microphone stands.
26. Sound Absorbing Panel
Besides the annoying background noises, when you record in a non-professional environment one of the main problems is reverberation (improperly called eco many times), i.e. the rumble that the sound makes hitting the walls of the room, especially when it is very empty and there are no curtains, carpets or other sound- absorbing material.
This panel, to be placed behind the microphone, significantly reduces the reverberation and guarantees an almost radio-like sound, more real, clean, and controlled. It can be either mounted on a stand or positioned independently on the desk thanks to its wide and stable feet.
27. Portable Recorder/Microphone
I’m in love with the Zoom H1n which not only provides step-like sound quality, but it is lightweight, super-adjustable, and great for flying interviews, but you can also use it as a desktop microphone (or attached to a stand) for your studio recordings. Thanks to the line-in and audio-out jacks, you can even use it in combination with a lavalier-type microphone as an outdoor audio recorder, where excessive distances would not make a wired solution or the use of a shotgun/gun barrel microphone feasible. You record video and audio separately and then merge the tracks during editing. Simply stunning.
Shooting Semi-Professional Videos in Any Context
Well done, you have your audio set-up ready! Now, if you want to film yourself while you talk (and not just rely on slides or screencasts) you need something that makes good quality video footage.
For indoor situations, connected to screencasts or initial tutorials, a professional webcam is fine, while I advise you not to use —except in desperate or urgent conditions—that of your notebook.
When you want to record outdoors or make a better quality video you need to switch to a smartphone (well adjusted) or a camcorder / reflex camera.
The choice falls on the Logitech C920/C922 or C930, real Full-HD cameras with excellent video quality and a control panel full of simple, super customizable settings.
They have a very well-made light correction and precise autofocus, while two omnidirectional microphones record stereo audio from any angle and provide high audio coverage.
So it’s great both in combination with screencasts and as a camcorder to record your first videos (but I recommend using an external microphone in this case).
If you want to create videos, tutorials, screencasts, live Internet streaming, or interviews and webinars, you can’t do without these Logitech videos because they’re indestructible.
29. Your Current Smartphone
If you want to start recording some videos and have good lighting, an initial solution is to use your smartphone since the quality of audio/video, especially for a video course is more than enough in many cases (some even shoot movies with it…).
However, there are some important warnings to respect if you don’t want to lose hours of work and get a mediocre product:
- Illuminate the subject well, especially when recording at home or office.
- Make sure you have a lavalier microphone (connected to your smartphone or an external recorder, such as Zoom H1n) or an external microphone attached to your smartphone (I recommend this Rode VideoMicro or Boya BY-MM1).
- In the recording app, set the brightness to manual and disable autofocus.
- Always try to use the rear camera (and not the front camera) because it is of better quality.
- Make sure you are recording at least in FullHD, better if in 4K, because this will allow you to make framing changes at no cost during installation.
Price: Free (add $30-60 if you want to use an external microphone).
When you record with a smartphone and you don’t have a studio super equipped with outdoor lights and a giraffe microphone, or you have to shoot your videos outside (maybe even on the move) you certainly can’t hold your smartphone in your hand because the vibrations would be excessive and the freedom of movement would be zero.
That’s why you need a stabilizer that not only supports your smartphone (or even small cameras or reflex cameras) but allows you to mount the microphone, a second camera, a panel with LED lights.
It’s better if it allows you to operate in both one-handed and two-handed modes to ensure maximum shooting flexibility in all conditions.
If you want to shoot fast and easy on the go with your smartphone, a multi-function stabilizer is too bulky, so you’ll need a stabilized 3-axis GIMBAL like the Hohem iSteady Mobile+.
No matter how difficult is your route or how fast you’re going, the gimbal stabilizer will allow you to record stable, smooth video and reduce tremors with an internal gyroscope combined with an engine that compensates for every tremor.
What’s more, having a long battery life, it can also charge your camera and phone so it doesn’t go into power-saving mode at the best part.
Price: from $100.
32. DSLR/Reflex Camera
If you want to get the highest quality video you have two options: on the one hand buy a professional camcorder, at least 3.000 or 4.000$ which is more of a pure videomaker tool and would probably end up defocusing you from content creation. The other solution, the one I recommend, is to buy an SLR camera like a Canon EOS 2000D (if you have a small budget) or a Panasonic GH5 (which can record in 4k).
They will guarantee you a very good quality video, even in sub-optimal lighting conditions and it will give also give it a touch of extra professionalism to your courses, thanks to richer colors, softer shades, better contrast, and greater depth (thanks to special lenses).
The advice, however, if you want to use these reflex cameras for your videos, is not only to find a specific tutorial for your model but also to follow a specific book or course of videomaking that will at least give you the basis to move in this parallel world of semi-professional videos. When in doubt, especially at the beginning, it’s better to find a passionate friend or a professional to do this job for you because your goal is to create courses, not to make videos, right?
Price: from $370.
Lights for Perfect Lighting
The real trick to shooting high-quality videos even if you don’t have a professional camcorder or a 2.000$ DSLR is to have lots of light. In low-light conditions, the footage becomes grainy, and without depth. Investing a little money in a set of lights is a low-cost solution but with a very high final impact.
33. Selfie Light Ring
If you happen to shoot fast videos in low light without having the possibility to use external lights, especially if you want to do it with your smartphone or, even worse, using the built-in webcam of your notebook, it would be very difficult to get a good result.
Luckily, you can apply a simple circular led light (ring light) on your monitor or smartphone and solve the problem with a few dollars. The result will surprise you, especially considering the practicality of the solution and the absolutely ridiculous cost.
It is a tool to have always with you because it is very light, does not take up space, and will guarantee an optimal video even in the worst situations.
34. Cold Light Softbox Kit
It creates a special light effect thanks to its large surface area of 50x70cm with high reflective power: the irregular weaving material (which is used to increase the reflective effect) and the reflective paint inside create a more uniform and clearer light.
The 135W bulbs are equivalent to 1124W halogen lamps and the 5500K color temperature is similar to the natural light used by photography professionals.
The tripods are made of aluminum so they are practical to carry, hold up to 6kg, have a 1/4″ universal bolt and can be used as a common stand (even for cameras or webcams).
35. Set of 3 LED Panel Lights
Compared to softboxes they have an even lower energy consumption, but above all, they are dimmable (it is possible to adjust the light intensity) and have the possibility to vary the light temperature: between 3200K and 5600K, creating the right atmosphere depending on the type of video to be created.
In addition, being equipped with batteries, they work even in the absence of power and are therefore ideal for outdoor (or night) shooting in maximum freedom.
One of the lights can be detached from the stand and placed behind the speaker to create a halo effect and add contrast and depth to the scene. Price: $315.
36. Portable Pocket Spotlight
It is essential for outdoor shooting or interviews, both with smartphones and camcorders/reflex cameras because, when mounted on a multifunction stabilizer, it allows you to create optimal lighting (even on the move).
Very light and smaller than an iPhone, it can also be positioned behind the subject to create a depth effect and eliminate the unsightly shadows that are created between it and the wall.
It can vary the color temperature between 3,000K and 6,500K and, like all LED panels, is adjustable in intensity. it is also equipped with an internal battery and can be easily recharged with a USB-C connector.
37. LED Ring Light + Bluetooth
Whenever you want to record a video in emergency conditions, in a short time, or when you don’t have space to place 2/3 softboxes, you can use this particular lamp.
It is compact, easily transportable, and allows you to mount a webcam, smartphone, reflex, or video camera inside. In this way, the subject will be well lit and the circular light will create an eye-catching extra glow in the eyes of the speaker.
Great for professional make-up artists, YouTube creators, photo studio, video blogger, selfie, Facebook live, Instagram live.
38. Green Screen Chromakey Panel
If you want to make special effects and replace your background with something different, this portable panel will allow you to create truly immersive transmissions in a few moments.
Simply unlock the aluminum case, lift the handle to a suitable height, and let the pneumatic X-frame automatically lock the canvas in place. That’s it. The green anti-fold screen is optimized for the chroma key with a camera or webcam. You can fold it back into the aluminum case and hide it from view with ease and with minimal clutter.
Price: from $150.
39. Compact Tripod for DSLRs and Smartphones
The tripod is made of aluminum alloy in a solid and resistant structure. The height is adjustable between 61cm and 197cm, it can be folded up to 48cm and weighs only 1.6kg for easy transport.
The snap closure system makes height adjustments quicker and easier, so you can extend or retract the tripod in seconds.
The quick-release plate adopts the standard 1/4″ screw for quick mounting of a camera, it is compatible with most DSLRs.
The specially designed ball-head can rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to get the best angle of shooting to create stunning panoramas and discover different beauties. The flexible 360° ball allows for easier filming in Pan, Tilt, and Pan-Tilt mode at the same time.
Non-slip rubber feet ensure that the whole structure remains stable on the ground.
So… with this, you’re good in any condition!
Images, Videos, Audio and Graphic Elements to Be inserted in Lessons or Slides
When you create a video course or tutorial, especially today when the user’s attention threshold is very low, having good content may no longer be enough to make your product successful.
You need something more: you need to add shape to your content, you need to make your videos captivating, dynamic, elegant, stimulating, unique so that students continue to watch them.
Slides made of only text, screencast without special effects, and pattern interrupt (a bit like the best YouTube tutorials) are doomed to failure because they bore students too much, making you pass as a lazy, banal author who lacks personality and attractiveness.
For this reason, a little at a time, you need to add quality to your lessons, improving the videos, the choice of images to include, some sound effects, some video clips, and some animations.
If you have enough budget and little time, you can always look for an external video maker who is an expert in this field; however, especially at the beginning, you must be the first to know how to improve your tutorials yourself.
40. Free Images and Videos
To give rhythm, emphasize some concepts and emotionally impress your user, especially when you use slides (but also when you make videos in which you talk) it is essential to insert images and videos regularly.
Ideally, something should happen at least every 5 or 10 seconds to break the monotony and keep those watching your course or tutorial glued to the screen.
Certainly avoid keeping the same frame, slide, or photo for over 20 seconds: think about YouTube or Netflix and the concept will be clear to you. The more you take care of this the more magnetically people will be attracted to your content.
Especially at the beginning, buying good quality images can be an excessive investment because there are other important aspects to take care of. That’s why you can find sites full of free images like PEXELS, PIXABAY, UNSPLASH.
41. Create Graphics for Slides or Lessons/Tutorial Covers
The success of many books depends 80% on the title and cover, and your course or video tutorial does not escape this editorial rule, so each lesson should have an introductory cover, explaining to the user where she or he is in the path.
Then, add other explanatory images or graphics in the middle of the videos that break the monotony of text slides or endless tutorials on how to use a website or software.
Use these elements to add a touch of personality, make the user smile, hook the concept to a stylized image, and maintain this association throughout your course.
Within Powerpoint, Keynote or Prezi, you’ll find plenty of useful icons for this purpose, but these two sites are much more complete, with an endless library of images and, above all, are designed to help you create graphics and covers in minutes (even without being an expert).
These are CANVA and STENCIL.
Price: freemium (free basic functions, then from $9/month).
42. Getting Help From a Freelance
If graphics, videos, and special effects aren’t really your thing and you risk not completing your course because of these aspects, then it’s time to hire an expert to do the “dirty work” for you.
Covers, animations, slides, voiceovers, video introductions… on FIVERR you can find excellent professionals at a cost starting from just 5$.
This will allow you to stay focused on content creation, save time, avoid frustration and see your course or tutorial completed quickly and with excellent quality, even in aspects where you are not at all good at it. Price: from $5.
Often in the world of video courses and online tutorials, people think (wrongly) that the quality of the video is everything and, as a result, they invest time and money to produce quality and well-groomed videos.
This, in reality, is only partly true because, many people (especially on less technical subjects) don’t always watch videos but rather listen to them, a bit like a podcast or the radio in the car.
This means that in these situations the audio has to be perfect: clear, clean, without rumbles, without excessive pauses, annoying breaths, tongue snapping, blowing into the microphone.
So I’m telling you that as soon as you start listening to your tutorials, maybe with a pair of soundproof headphones, you’ll immediately realize how many mistakes are made and how much “cleaning up” work is needed.
Finally, if you want to create a podcast, interviews, or mini-pills to support your audience, recording audio is infinitely faster than video and, therefore, this time saved during recording will give you precious minutes for the editing phase.
Audacity is a 100% free software to edit and convert any audio format. It is a useful tool, accessible to everyone, which opens the door to many functions, more or less basic to adapt recordings and sounds to our needs.
Thanks to Audacity, you will not only be able to record your audio or podcast directly but, above all, clean up and improve the sound of videos and screencasts, adding a touch of professionalism that never hurts.
If you’re starting from scratch and want something simple, fast, and that works from both Mac and PC, this is a must-have choice.
You can download Audacity from the official website, a full version absolutely free of charge, as well as a huge number of plugins and extra effects or features.
44. AVS Suite
Cut, merge, crop, mix, delete parts, split audio files. Apply different effects and filters. Save files in all major formats. Record audio from a variety of sources.
Select from 20 built-in effects and filters including delay, flanger, chorus, reverb, and others. Mix audio and combine many audio tracks. AVS Audio Editor saves output files in all popular formats.
Record audio data from a variety of sources such as microphones, vinyl records, and other sound card inputs. Edit recorded audio files, apply effects, save them in all major formats.
Turn written text into a natural sounding voice with a single click, save it in a popular audio format that can be played on any device. Speed up or slow down the speed of speech, change the tone if necessary.
Price: $49 (one-off for the entire AVS suite).
45. Rename MP3s and Add Metadata
When you start creating a course, a long series of tutorials, or, above all, podcasts and interviews, it is important to enrich your MP3 files with information (metadata): a cover, who is the author, which album/course belongs, etc.
This helps to index a lot and provides the listener with extra content about who you are, what you do, and where they can find you on the web. But doing the work by hand doesn’t make any sense at all, so software like MP3tag allows you to edit all your audio in bulk, saving you dozens of boring hours.
If you want to create a tutorial, screencast, or video in person after you have recorded the video, you need an ad-hoc program to edit it.
By editing, I mean mostly cleaning the movie from mistakes and unnecessary parts and the phase where you add more video, audio, special effects, images, music… and you go and create a real mini-film.
The more complex the result you want to obtain, the better (and more expensive) your video-editing software will have to be, but, especially if you are not a super technological geek, I suggest you start with something very simple, practice and then move on to a higher-end product.
Warning: some of the software you’ll find below are extremely advanced, but they’re also free. Don’t be fooled and don’t use them at first because the learning curve is very high and it would take you away from the content creation side.
OpenShot is a cross-platform video editor with support for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It is easy to use, fast to learn, and surprisingly powerful.
It provides you with both basic functions for cutting and adjusting video, as well as unlimited tracks, special effects, transitions, slow-motion and 3D animations.
Recommended if you’re starting from scratch and looking for something low-cost and fast to learn.
Shotcut is a free program, executable on Linux, macOS, and Windows, free and open-source, which allows you to create videos, managing and exporting in many formats. The interface is flexible and intuitive, the commands are well arranged; many filters and transitions are applicable.
Versatile, it has a good learning curve and it is easy to use. Frequent updates, introducing new features and functionality, continuously improve its performance.
It offers a complete feature set on par with commercial software. It supports a variety of formats with resolutions up to 4K. It provides advanced controls for video and audio, effects, a timeline with multitrack editing, and custom export with several predefined profiles.
48. DaVinci Resolve
It is a professional software, full of functions and potential and therefore not easy to use. The Blackmagicdesign team provides the entire community with a series of PDF guides and video tutorials with examples, ready to be seen and downloaded.
The software runs on macOS, Windows 10, and Linux and contains 4 modules: editing, color correction, audio post-production, and video effects.
Moreover, thanks to the Blackmagic Design training program it is possible to attend certification courses in the classroom, or online, to become accredited experts of this alternative tool to Adobe Premiere.
Obviously, given the complexity of the software, I recommend it only to those who are real geeks, super video enthusiasts that want to create movies of cinematic level because to do the simplest things, even the programs recommended above (faster, intuitive, and “light”) are fine. Price: Free (Studio version costs $269).
HandBrake is a free open-source, cross-platform transcoding software as it works on Mac, Windows, or Linux. It allows you to convert multimedia files (audio/video) and drastically reduce the file size.
Very useful to use as the last step before sending your video files to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, or the platform hosting your course (like Udemy, Corsi.it, Teachable, Thinkific…).
50. HitFilm Express
HitFilm Express focuses its business on selling special effects. It brings aspiring filmmakers closer with a flexible and performing software that allows them to experiment with imagination and creativity. The FXhome, software house that develops the software, is ready to sell the full version or a series of filters, effects, and functions. All at a more than accessible cost.
Common and basic functions are free of charge: clip editing, inserting music and images, adding effects and simple transitions, creating square vertical videos, exporting without logo overlay.
A software that is far from easy to learn (but with amazing tutorials) and that I recommend if you want to move into the world of video editing and recording/editing movies; otherwise it’s really complex.
Price: Freemium (free basic version, you pay only the special effects you need).
VSDC Free Video Editor is a video editing program for Windows only. It is currently one of the very rare non-linear video editor software; that is, you can insert video streams in any part of the timeline, and you don’t have to follow a sequence.
You can also add transitions between scenes (fading and other types of effects), as well as perform more advanced features such as real-time Chroma Key (green screen).
As understandable, VSDC Free Editor is not very easy to use because of its many features, but you will find many well-made guides.
There is also a paid version (costing about twenty dollars), called VSDC Pro, which adds some features, but the free version is more than valid for the vast majority of users.
Price: Freemium ($20 for the PRO version).
VideoPad is a complete video editor to create professional-quality videos in minutes.
Create videos for DVD, HD, 360, YouTube, and more; burn movies to DVD and Blu-Ray, or export videos online and to portable devices.
It supports all popular video formats. It can also capture a video from a DV video recorder, VHS, GoPro, webcam, or all video in a variety of video file formats including avi, wmv, mpv, divx, and more.
It has over 50 visual effects and transitions to add a professional touch to your movies. It’s also extremely fast and supports Chromakey (green screen).
Price: Freemium (free for non-commercial use, $50 the master version).
In this case, we have a totally online and browser- based software.
Clipchamp comes with all the features you need to create great videos without the experience you need. Edit clips of all sizes directly in your browser without the hassle of inconvenient uploads. It also includes a quick and easy Facebook video ad creator that you can check before you go to the video editor.
Run out of ideas? Browse the gallery of fully customizable video templates, made by professionals, tailored to your industry. They’ve thought of everyone from videos for your YouTube channel to Instagram promotional videos. Great if you want to do quick tests.
Price: Freemium (free export only in 480p, then from $9/month).
54. Filmora 9
Filmora is an excellent alternative to iMovie for editing videos and for those looking for an application full of special effects and objects to customize their movie. Simple to use, it doesn’t give up advanced options to give a professional touch to your creations, both on Mac and Windows.
Among the programs to edit videos, it is definitely one of the most complete. Probably, it is the one that boasts the largest library of effects and graphic elements, also considering the dedicated shop, where you can always download new and original effects.
Recommended for those who start out and want great results without having to go crazy with super-complex software.
Price: 60$ (there is a free version but it puts a watermark on the video products that makes them unusable).
55. Adobe Premiere Pro
Premiere Pro is the industry’s leading video editing software for cinema, TV, and the web. With its creative tools, integration with other apps and services, and the power of Adobe Sensei, you can turn your footage into optimized movies and videos. With Premiere Rush, you can create and edit new projects from any device. With Adobe Premiere Pro, editors have access to a variety of tools that allow designers to do more than just basic editing. The application also offers the means to adjust color and perfect the audio.
Strongly recommended for editing first-person video courses, advertising clips, and anything else you want to aim for the highest possible quality
(but keep in mind that you’ll need at least a good course to learn the main functions, being very complex indeed).
Price: from $24/month.
56. Final Cut Pro X (Mac users only)
Completely redesigned, Final Cut Pro X combines revolutionary professional video editing with a powerful multimedia organization and incredible performance so you can create at the speed of light.
- Edit multi-camera projects with automatic synchronization based on audio waveforms and support for 64 camera angles.
- Capture metadata from the camera and analyze background shots with automatic content analysis.
- The modern Metal graphics engine uses all the GPUs in the Macto accelerate graphics operations, including rendering, compositing, real-time effects playback, export, and more;
- Create 2D and 3D titles with beautiful customizable animations;
- Correct audio problems like a hum, excessive background noise,and more. Quickly synchronize DSLR video with separate audio with instant audio waveform matching;
- Improves the appearance of color-balanced clips in a single click. Adjust a specific color or area with transparency and masks.
In short, great video editing software that is very intuitive and allows maximum results with much less learning time than products like Adobe Premiere.
Price: $299.99 (Apple only).
57. iMovie (Mac only)
You can comfortably browse through your clips, and in no time you can create cinematic level trailers and fantastic 4K resolution movies. You can even start editing on your iPhone or iPad, then finish it on your Mac.
Do you have hundreds of videos and the dream of making a movie? With iMovie trailers, you use your footage to create fun, Hollywood-style clips. Choose the genre you want to be inspired by from the available templates, then add your studio logo, title, and cast. Finally, add photos and videos to the storyboard and air your own little blockbuster.
You can work with multiple 4K video clips at once, create split-screen or picture-in-picture effects and see them right away, and use keyboard shortcuts to do everything faster.
Filters of all kinds: Retro black-and-white atmospheres, Far West settings, or futuristic blue-colored scenarios —you’ve got 10 video filters to give your movie the style you want. And you can add them to every single clip or directly to the entire movie at once.
Recommended for those who start out and want to create semi- professional videos but without becoming a professional video-editor, getting the most out of them with minimum effort.
Price: Free (included on Mac).
When you’ve finally created your videos, it’s time to make them available to your audience and “hook” them to the portals (which we’ll talk about in the next chapters) through which you’re delivering your video course.
Many of them allow you to upload your videos to their own platform, without additional costs, many others (especially those that are less expensive or completely free) require that your videos are already on the internet.
For this reason, you must know some options so that you can choose the best solution for your needs and budget.
It needs no introduction because it is the leading platform in the world of video. It has a simple interface, it provides you with good video statistics and above all, it is 100% free.
It is, therefore, an ideal solution only if you have no budget to invest or want to publish a video quickly.
The downside is that YouTube will put advertising in your videos and that doesn’t help to create a professional image (and it can even bring traffic to your competitors).
In short: use it only if you have no other options or if you want to edit a YouTube channel to increase your audience organically.
It is the #1 alternative to YouTube because, for a small investment, it gives the possibility to customize many settings (especially privacy), change in groups the settings of some videos, and above all it does not show any advertising.
It’s very easy to configure and manage and it is an ideal solution if your course delivery platform does not provide you with unlimited free hosting, also because (like YouTube) it optimizes the quality according to the bandwidth and the device you are using.
Price: free (we highly recommend plans from $6/month).
Publish an Online Course: Free Platforms
These are the tools or portals that allow you to organize the course into modules and lessons, add extra content, and deliver the actual course through the internet. The options available (for all budgets) are virtually endless and make it very difficult to choose because the parameters and features to keep in mind to choose the best platform to publish your video course are hundreds and change virtually every day.
For this reason, in this article, I decided to highlight those who have a consolidated “history” behind them, many users can guarantee you the best result according to your budget and the technical knowledge needed to configure the “system” and then upload your video courses.
If you don’t want to spend anything and have full ownership and control over your published content, you can’t help but consider a training site hosted on WordPress.
The advantage is above all economic and if you are already familiar with this platform, the possibility to get to customize it is in detail.
On the other hand, you will have to take care of all the configuration and maintenance of the site, security updates, user management, and installation of additional plug-ins to manage payments, content organization, membership …
That’s why I suggest you to use WordPress to publish your courses online only on two occasions:
- At the beginning (and only if you already know the platform ) more to test the market or release “beta” versions of your course.
- When you are at the end of your online course creator career and want to customize every single aspect of course delivery (and “traditional” platforms will be too tight for you.
In any case, it is important to match WordPress plug-ins or specific LMS (learning management system) themes such as LearnDash (see below), LearnPress, WP Courseware or Thrive Apprentice as soon as possible. Price: Free (you have to pay hosting and if you want, some custom themes).
61. Moodle LMS
It is the best known electronic learning system in the world. You can create your own online education and video course site in minutes, choose from a wide range of activities and educational tools, add your own assessments and certificates.
It also allows you to communicate with your students in real-time with a powerful videoconferencing tool and it is also mobile-ready, so your students can learn from tablets and smartphones.
The limit is that it is designed for non-profit organizations or as an internal training tool for companies, so it lacks all the marketing and sales part of the courses that, when you want to get significant earnings (from at least $1.000/month), becomes extremely important.
Price: Free (you have to install it on your own server, with all the consequences of the case).
It is, alongside Thinkific, one of the most widespread platforms in the world to publish and sell your video courses online, with full functionality, extreme simplicity, acceptable transaction commissions, and a very intuitive and easy to learn content management system.
It allows you to enter quizzes, host videos for free (it does not require a Vimeo or Wistia account), release content in a progressive way, create coupons, promotional packages, and upsells.
It also has clean and elegant graphics, offering a modern interface, fast and optimized for mobile devices.
It’s highly recommended if you:
- Are starting out on a limited budget.
- Don’t want to waste a minute configuring complex systems.
- Aim at practicality and comfort (at the expense of super-advanced customizations).
In its “university” also includes a wide range of video courses with best-practice, examples of courses produced, and templates that always come in handy.
Teachable, compared to Thinkific, is easier to use, has a more intuitive and flexible course generator, a native iOS app, and more powerful course reporting tools.
Likewise, Teachable has much more to offer than Thinkific when it comes to sales and marketing functionality. The checkout process is well optimized, offering powerful one-click upsells, support for Apple Pay and Google Pay, EU VAT, etc.
Price: Freemium ($29/month version recommended).
It competes with Teachable as the best platform to host and sell courses online.
Very nice, full of advanced features (in the paid versions Basic and Pro) it is an excellent and complete solution for both beginners and experienced content creators who want to focus their efforts on new products and marketing, without wasting time in managing the platform.
One of the main advantages over Teachable is that it does not take a commission on transactions, which becomes an important factor when you start selling at least $2-3,000/month of video courses.
Thinkific offers more powerful quiz functionality, integrated task support, forum creation capabilities, allows you to sell courses in packs and manage students in a class more easily, and has better subscription creation features than Teachable.
It also has much better site-building features than Teachable, useful if you don’t have an existing website.
Price: Freemium (from $49/month advanced versions).
It is one of the latest additions to the market and a great alternative to Teachable. In the free plan, it has some very interesting features that, especially for beginners and those who have a limited budget, this will allow them to build and sell courses online in a simple, fast, and cheap way.
I particularly appreciated the possibility of having free courses:
- Up to 2GB of files and 60 minutes of video for each course.
- Unlimited courses with the progressive release of lessons.
- Promotional codes and mailing list integrations.
- Statistics and analytics for each video course.
It is definitely worth a test, also because the higher versions are extremely affordable and complete (compared to the advanced plans of Teachable or Thinkific).
Price: Freemium (pro versions from $29/month).
If you are looking for a low-cost, basic, fast, and reliable system to sell your courses, e-books, videos (but also movies and music) this is an extremely interesting and super-tested solution.
It doesn’t have many of the LMS features typical of specific systems like Teachable or LearnDash, however, it is very easy to learn, very easy to use as a buyer, and will allow you to be online with your course in just a few minutes.
Price: Freemium ($10/month and 3.5% commission).
66. LearnDash LMS
It is the standard for many years, its developers have a lot of experience and have gained over time a leading position in the LMS market: it runs fast and can handle several thousand students.
It is a really professional product, and it is used by universities and online trainers.
The quiz section is unbeatable and you can ask practically any kind of question: true/false, multiple answers, fill-the-blank, reorder answers, open question, long answers. You can even ask questions using images and videos… super!
Also useful (especially in the case of advanced courses with tutors) the possibility of automatic correction where you can assign different weights to the answers, put together the scores, and make intermediate and final averages.
LearnDash shows students a useful class log with course assessments every time a user completes a certain part of the course. This goes well with certificates and badges.
It has automatic email notifications and detailed reports, allows the creation of user profiles, and group management, you can also add lesson timers to ensure that everyone spends a certain amount of time on each lesson.
In fact, if you have the experience to sell and you want to customize your e-learning site to the max, this LMS is a must-have tool, also because the annual cost is ridiculous (and you don’t even have a commission on transactions).
The downside is that the installation and configuration are extremely complex and laborious, so it’s recommended only to those who want to use it professionally and, possibly, is supported by a prepared IT department. Price: from $159/year.
If you are looking for a turnkey solution that includes everything (LMS, shopping cart, upsell, sales pages, funnel, customer CRM, affiliate management, and even a mailing list manager) Kajabi is undoubtedly the industry leader, used by the most famous marketers and online course creators.
Paradoxically, the LMS is the most basic part (especially when compared to specialist systems such as LearnDash, Teachable, or Thinkific) but it still defends itself very well and works nicely even on mobile.
The real advantage of choosing an all-inclusive platform like Kajabi lies in the:
- Economic savings (often the sum of the components exceeds the monthly cost).
- Ease of access from a single centralized location.
- Perfect integration of all components, which results in limited technical problems and always available services.
It is a recommended solution for marketers or professionals who already use all the individual components and want to simplify management and daily operations, having key numbers and statistics under control.
Price: from $119/month.
The Best Online Course Platforms Reviewed
There are many online course platforms where you can find thousands of courses on different topics. You can learn or teach on these platforms. If you are interested to learn more about them, here are some posts that I have written: