These are some the tools I use everyday when building on-line courses. Comment below if you have more that I could put in this list.
Get detailed and visual analytics on anyone’s tweets, retweets, replies, mentions, hashtags…
Learning Managment Systems (LMS)
Moodle: Is a solid open source platform used by large corporations and can be used to publish courses as well as webinars.
These are not all by any means but these are the top platforms to get your courses out to the masses. I have broken these out by Pro & Cons for each platform “Course Platforms That Make You Money.”
- BLAB: Blab seems very cool! I haven’t used it but people are saying great things about it. Blab, the newest platform in streaming video, lets you build a personal and business presence while creating community. Allows up to 4 people engaging with each other at the same time.
- Skype: Skype is still a good way to communicate remotely or for doing podcasts.
- Periscope: Allows a person to explore the world through someone else’s eyes by schedule an event. This ap uses the camera and mic on your phone which allows people to comment on what you are doing. This is great if you want to schedule a webinar or an interview.
PrintFriendly: Use PrintFriendly.com to “Turn Popular Posts into Lead Magnets”. This site will convert your blog post or any other page to a PDF.
Content Managment, Themes, and Widgets
- WordPress: I have to say “I am stuck on WordPress because WordPress is stuck on me”. If you don’t already know WordPress is amazing piece of software that is absolutely free. It is an open sources platform that allows a user or users to update content on their website without having to know any coding. WordPress allows user to import themes, specially designed for the platform. Some themes for WordPress are free and some are purchased.
- Theme forest: These are the best WordPress themes on the internet.
- Optimizepress: This seems to be what most marketers are using for their themes. Has tons of templated options like landing, sales, and thank pages some of which you have to buy separately.
21 Free Stock Photo Sites:
This information is from the Hootsuite blog.
Gratisography is one of the most interesting of the free stock photo sites due to the quirky style of photographer Ryan McGuire. All of the photos are high-resolution and royalty-free, ready for your use wherever you please. Sorted into the categories of animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical, there are new photos added weekly, which are also shared through McGuire’s Twitter and Facebook.
IM Free offers not only free social media images, but is a “curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.” The royalty free collections include templates, icons, button makers, along with classic free stock images organized by themes such as technology, education, nature, and many more.
Pixabay offers over 490,000 free images for both your personal and commercial use. These are great to use as social media images, because Pixabay’s collection includes not only photos, but illustrations and vector images. As all images on the site are royalty free and covered under Creative Commons CC0, they may be modified and used commercially and in printed format.
With over 2,479,693 downloads since its 2013 launch, Picjumbo is a popular free resource for your social media images. Users can either click through the different categories of over 600 high-resolution photos for free, or download a pack that includes all images as well as three Photoshop mockups, in exchange for a donation of $10 or more.
Unsplash offers ten new photos every ten days via an email subscription as well as simply on their website. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, “which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.” You can navigate the site by viewing the photos in their larger versions, but when browsing I usually find it easier to switch to the grid format.
The Morguefile was created in 1996, and offers photographs available free for the use in creative projects. The website does ask that photographers or artists are credited when using their free stock images as they aren’t in the public domain. As they emphasize altering their images when using them, this is a great resource for free social media images that can be used as backgrounds for text-based images such as quotes, store hours, etc. that you want to post to Instagram or Facebook.
Stockvault hosts over 35,000 royalty-free images, graphics, and designs from photographers, designers, and students around the world. As long as you stay on the “Free Stock Photos” rather than the “Premium Stock Photos” tab, you have access to a huge library of photos to use for your content and social media purposes.
Negative Space adds new free stock images every week, and all are listed under the Creative Commons Zero license. These free images are sortable by category, copy space, position, and color. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, for updates on new image additions.
Lock and Stock Photos was started by AJ Montpetit who firmly believes in a “sharing is caring” model and after benefiting for a long time from other free stock images sites, decided to become a producer himself. All of his beautiful photos are released under the Creative Commons Zero license, so no attribution is required (but is of course always appreciated).
KaboomPics offers a ton of great quality royalty free stock images that are available for use by personal users as well as commercial purposes. The thousands of free images are searchable by keyword, category, tags, or can be browsed.
FancyCrave’s easy to navigate website releases two new images from professional photographers everyday. When looking for free social media images, the extra colorful and vibrant nature of FancyCrave’s photographs are especially eye-catching for sharing and engagement purposes.
When researching resources for free social media images, I was told by more than one socially-savvy person that StockSnap was their favorite site. The free images can be sorted by date added, trending, number of views, number of downloads, as well as through keyword searches.
Startup Stock Photos has a concept that is pretty self-explanatory, with free stock images for “startups, bloggers, publishers, websites, designers, developers, creators, and everyone else.” The photos are especially great as free social media images when you are sharing links to content such as a professional blog post, where the most fitting visual is of someone on a computer or in a casual business setting.
Web designer Daniel Nanescu created Splitshire to offer a collection of stunning, easy to browse, free stock images. The images are sorted into helpful categories such as “Abstract,” “Still Life,” and “Technology,” which allows for a pleasant browsing experience. Nanescu’s photos which previously lived “on a hard drive gathering dust” are now, for good reason, being used on websites like The Huffington Post, CNN, as well as numerous books and magazine covers.
Life of Pix is a collection of free high-resolution stock images donated to the public domain by the Leeroy Advertising Agency in Montreal. With no copyright restrictions, the beautiful photos are free for personal and commercial use. If you need free social media images of the moving variety, their sister site Life of Vids offers royalty-free videos, clips, and loops for you to use to your heart’s content.
The free stock images on Pexels are curated from sites such as Gratisography, Unsplash, and Little Visuals, in the attempt to simplify the image searching process. All of the photos on the site are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero, making it easy to know that you can use any of the photos for personal or commercial use. The collection currently includes over 3,800 high-resolution free stock photos, with at least 70 new ones added each and every week.
Jay Mantri’s photographs are nothing short of breathtaking, and the fact that he offers them as free stock photos is extremely generous. While beautiful to scroll through in their large form, if you are needing to quickly find an image for your content or social media posting, I suggest changing to the archive view for a condensed appearance.
ISO Republic is a fairly new site, run by English designer and photographer Tom Eversley. The site’s mission is “to provide high-quality images to be used by designers, developers, bloggers, marketers and social media teams.” The categories these free social media images are sorted into, include architecture, nature, people, textures, urban, and everyone’s favorite, “various”.
New Old Stock provide the ultimate “Throwback Thursday” content with their hundreds of vintage photos from the public archives. The photos are fascinating and would be a compelling addition to any social media campaign. Offering hundreds of royalty free stock photos, New Old Stock’s collection showcases a wide variety of situations and subjects, perfect for a number of social media posting opportunities.
We have used a number of the free stock photos from Free Refe for our purposes, due to their clarity, quality, and diverse subject matter. Although there is an emphasis on photos showing “real life,” the images are anything but mundane. As their website states, “using great imagery helps portray emotions, increase sales, and conversions,” the free photos here are a must-bookmark resource.
This is a great place to find “free”, royalty free images for courses or your blog.
Free Vector Graphics:
Freepik: Freepik offers users, high-quality graphic designs: exclusive illustrations and graphic resources carefully selected by our design team in order to provide our users with great content that can be used in both personal and commercial projects.
Graphics and Video Software
- Canva: Ok Canva is awesome! The system is an online design platform that allows a user to create and design images to put on your blog, Powerpoint, or create a save the date for weddings or birthdays. They have templates for all styles of design to meet just about any need. The best thing it’s free for the most part. They will try to charge on certain fonts or images that they have on the site but other than that it’s great!
- PicMonkey: Pic Monkey is an online design platform similar to Canva but allows more control of your pictures and a ton of options. This is like an online version of Photoshop and Illustrator mixture. Allows you to adjust photos as well as creating vector graphics overlays.
- Screencast-o-Matic: Screen-o-Matic allows you to able to record up to 15 minutes of screen action with the free version. Now the system will put a watermark on the bottom of the screen, but pay $15.00 dollars a year and that will go away and you will get unlimited recording time.
- Awesome Screenshot: Is cool when working on a project with collaborators. Similar to the Snipit tool on PC’s which allows a user to screen capture an image and saves the image in the cloud. You can share the image with others and they can draw on the image and leave feedback like ” The Image is great but I circled where you need to fix my hair in Photoshop”.
- Photoshop: Photoshop now allows you to edit video as well as images. Now Photoshop is not for the faint of heart because it does take some time to get used to. So for a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you take some classes. Photoshop is very powerful once you know how to use and it blows Canva and PicMonkey out of the water but I would use either Canva or PicMonkey if you need just to minor update to images and/or laying text overtop.
- PowerPoint: Not much explaining here because this is the main way people communicated back in the caveman days or at least since the modern board room was invented. You know I kid because this is still a very powerful tool in getting information to users.
- iMovie: I movie is the easiest way to cut and edit video on a mac.
- Camtasia : I have used Camtasia for years in creating video screen captures, very easy to use.
I just found this wonderful resource that won’t break the bank for your next video. I just came across a podcast where Bobby Lin, founder of Valoso talks about his new company. They have a network of professionals in your area, kind like Uber that will help with lighting, Videographers, Voice Over Artists, and Video Editors. The price ranges vary from project to project, they have prices from a $35.00 custom intro, to a $3,000 project.
Royalty Free Music (Free)
Just found this the other day and it has blown my mind. All these years of searching for free background music and now I have it.
Best Free Fonts
Have an idea for a name but not sure if it is taken, pick the right domain name with this site.
I Want My Name: https://iwantmyname.com
I have used all of the hosting here in one way or another. All of these are top in the field of hosting online. To me these are the starter hosting packages. Once your business takes off and you have millions of followers you may need to a more robust hosting provider.
I use Freshbooks for my clients because FreshBooks is the only software that I have found that will allow me to do recurring billing such as retainers. I don’t have to worry each month if I will get paid and have to call to see why accounting hasn’t paid me yet. The system also has a time tracker that allows me to keep track of my time on a particular project.
Just found this is site that allows you create you own invoices for free.
Stand Up Desk