Heights Platform Tools and Software Every Online Course Creator Needs in 2021

Tools and Software Every Online Course Creator Needs in 2021

10 minute read

Whether you are just starting out as a course creator or you’ve been doing this since forever, this article is for you.

We made a list of all the best tools you need to create awesome online courses.

Nowadays there is an app for everything, so how do you choose?

We have personally tried most of the tools listed below, so we know what we are talking about. Keep reading to find out which app will change your game in 2021.

P.S.: none of the links below are sponsored, it’s just our genuine suggestion. 

Hosting Platform

The basics of building an online course is having a hosting platform where you can upload your content and sell it to students.

It’s not easy to choose the perfect online course platform and there are many aspects to consider before settling for one or the other.

Consider if it has an easy interface, built-in payment settings, strong video hosting, gamification and community building tools, and much more. Does the platform take a commission of your earning? Does it change transaction fees?

We explain everything you need to consider in an online course software here: Top 10 Things to Look For When Choosing the Perfect Online Course Platform

Our obvious recommendation is to choose Heights Platform for your online course’s hosting.

Heights is everything you need in one simple and easy-to-use platform. It includes all the features listed above and so much more, without taking a commission of your earnings.

Thousands of creators chose Heights as software to build their online course: read their testimonials and experiences.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a fantastic and inexpensive way to promote your business and keep your clients engaged. Let’s see below which are our favorite tools to use:

ActiveCampaign

Activecampaign email marketing tool for online course creators

ActiveCampaign is a very complete email marketing software that counts many features. From sending marketing emails to having a complete CRM that allows you to segment your audience, follow patterns and understand the behavior of your subscribers, ActiveCampiagn has everything you need as a course creator.

The software might seem complicated at first, however, they have a very comprehensive support site with detailed articles to help you build email campaigns and automation.

So overall is a very good email marketing software and it works especially well for creators who want to scale their audience and need a tool able to support them at any stage of their growth.

Why is this tool great for creators?

You can integrate ActiveCampaign easily with your online course hosting platform. Use it to send marketing emails, build automations and analyze your customers’ behavior. ActiveCampaign is the perfect fit for creators who are looking to scale their business and need a tool to support them.

ActiveCampaign has many pricing plans that adapt to all sorts of creators, however, they do not have a free plan for beginners, like their competitor ConvertKit:

ConvertKit

Convertkit email marketing tool for online course creators

ConvertKit’s branding is headed towards being the perfect email marketing tool for bloggers and creators, as we can see from their slogan “build by creators, for creators”.

The software itself is definitely simpler and less comprehensive than ActiveCampiagn’s one, but it still includes all the basic features needed by an online course creator.

According to ConvertKit’s users’ reviews, the software is extremely easy to use and its interface straightforward. Their pricing plan is more basic and transparent than ActiveCampaign, and they do include a free plan with limited features (up to 1’000 subscribers).

So if you are a creator who is just starting out, ConvertKit might be an easier option for you.

Why is this tool great for creators?

It is simple, easy to use and it allows you to create branded email sequences to your mailing list and analyze the results of your campaigns. If you are on a budget or just starting out, this might be a better pricing option.

Video Recording and Editing

As an online course creator, video is most likely the number one component of your lessons and I am guessing that you spend a considerable amount of time editing and recording. Below you’ll find a list of our favorite apps to record, edit and create awesome videos your students will love.

OBS

OBS video recording tool for online course creators

Open Broadcaster Software, better known as OBS, is a free software for video recording and live streaming compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

It presents numerous features, including real-time video capture, scene composition, coding, recording, and broadcasting.

OBS is not extremely popular among course creators, however, it is easy to use and has a competitive advantage over other recording software: it can edit your video automatically, in real-time.

By hitting a few simple commands, you can cut, trim and insert transitions in your videos while you are recording! This way, you can save an incredible amount of time that you would otherwise spend editing.

Why is this tool great for creators?

You can edit and apply simple transitions to your screen recording in real time, making it easier to create content without the hassle of spending a long time editing.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro video recording tool for online course creators

Adobe Premiere Pro is a good solution suited for many video editing tasks on high-definition video. With the software, you can import video, audio, and graphics and create new or edited versions of videos to export in any necessary format for distribution. You can edit images and videos together, add titles, filters, transitions, and special effects.

Overall Adobe Premiere Pro is a very comprehensive tool that serves well both for creators with basic video needs and for more advanced editors.

Moreover, it integrates well with a number of other tools, especially with other Adobe applications.

Why is this tool great for creators?

It has everything you need to create educational videos. If you are a teacher working for an institution (school, university) you are eligible to receive a 60% discount on Adobe Premiere Pro and other apps. For more information visit this page: Student-Teacher Eligibility.

ScreenFlow (iOS) or Camtasia (Windows)

Screenflow video recording tool for online course creators

ScreenFlow is an app developed by Telestream, only available for iOS. Camtasia is the corresponding application for Windows.

Its list of features is remarkably long as the software suits well for advanced creators with more complex video needs.

What differentiates ScreenFlow and Camtasia from other video recording and editing tools, is the quality of its screen recordings features and their Stock Media Library, filled with free videos and images you can use.

Why is this tool great for creators?

It allows you to create high quality videos or screen recordings and choose between a large variety of editing options.

CloudApp

CloudApp screen recording tool for online course creators

CloudApp is a screen recording software for Mac, Windows, Chrome, and iOS. The app allows you to record your screen as a video with your voice and face, an annotated image, or a GIF and instantly share it as a link.

This tool is very easy to use and can be installed as a Chrome Extension, rather than downloading it and it can be used for free with basic features.

An app that works in a similar way is Loom.

Why is this tool great for creators?

You can quickly create a screen recording and share it with your students easily, to answer their questions or provide further information on a topic. You can choose to show your face while talking, to make the video more engaging (no editing needed).

Otter.ai

Otterai voice transcription tool for online course creators

Otter is a different app from those listed above. It specialized in meeting and audio recording, video transcription, note-taking, and more.

This tool can record and take meeting notes for you in real-time, and lets you stay focused on the conversation while information, actions, attendees of the meetings are captured and the discussion transcribed for you.

You can use this application for free with up to 600 minutes of recording every month.

Why is this tool great for creators?

It generates transcripts from videos, meetings, webinars. In your online course you can provide transcriptions as an additional resource of information for your students. Otter.ai generally provides an error-free transcript and recognizes different speakers seamlessly.

Bonus tip: if you are using Heights Platform, you can automatically link any word or sentence in your transcript to a specific time in the video, learn more timestamps here: All About Using Video in Your Lessons

Webinar Platforms

Webinars are a fantastic way to promote your business, especially if you are selling online courses. It allows your audience to directly witness your teaching method, ask you questions and start building trust towards you and your content.

Demio

Demio webinar platform tool for online course creators

Demio is one of the most popular webinar tools out there. It includes all the functionality you’d expect from a webinar application: live, automated, registered webinars, live chat, moderation, marketing tools, customization, the list goes on.

Their pricing is premium, however it’s not much higher compared to other platforms in the market.

Why is this tool great for creators?

Demio’s interface is intuitive and easy to use, it provides all the necessary tools to host a great webinar for your students or potential customers.

WebinarGeek

Webinargeek webinar platform tool for online course creators

Another less expensive option as a webinar tool is WebinarGeek. The platform is quite complete in terms of features: it allows you to start all kinds of webinars, create customizable registration pages, send marketing automation and so on.

Their price is much lower than the competition, and with as little as 19 Euros per month (around $23, they are EU based and charge in euros), you can start hosting webinars with various functionalities.

Why is this tool great for creators?

If you are just starting out or you are on a budget, WebinarGeek provides all the features you need from a webinar platform for a lower price.

SEO and Marketing

Promoting your online course is an essential part of having a successful eLearning business. SEO and marketing can be confusing, which is why the software below will make your life easier while providing you with the tools to succeed.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics SEO tool for online course creators

As you probably know, Google Analytics is a web service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. By linking it with your website, you’ll have access to all the information you need to understand the level of traffic for your program and how to improve it.

Google Analytics offers insights for traffic in terms of volume, demographics, time, areas in your website, session duration, bounce rate, user behavior, and more.

This software is free to use (unless your website generates more than 10 million hits per month) and it offers a comprehensive view of your website performance.

Why is this tool great for creators?

You can analyze the traffic data for your online course’s page, the demographics and behaviour of your visitors, and understand what marketing strategy or SEO practice to improve.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console SEO tool for online course creators

Google Search Console is a free tool developed by Google that you can use to analyze and troubleshoot your site's ranking in Google Search results. From the information provided by Google Search Console, you can understand how to improve your position on the search engine and develop your SEO.

By using this software, you’ll have access to information such as:

  • Your site position on Google search results for a certain keyword
  • Recommendations of SEO errors to fix
  • General traffic data for your website
  • Backlinks and other websites linking to your website

And much more.

Why is this tool great for creators?

If you are not an SEO expert, it can suggest different keywords to implement or ways to increase your course’s visibility.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest SEO tool for online course creators

Ubersuggest is another SEO tool that allows you to analyze many aspects of your website, such as find new keywords and content ideas, fix your SEO mistakes, examine your competitors’ SEO, and more.

The free version of this online tool is quite limited and only allows you up to three searches. After that, you can either choose to pay a monthly subscription or a one-time fee.

Overall this software is quite complete in terms of functionality and can provide all the information you need as a course creator.

Why is this tool great for creators?

It is very easy to use and intuitive, it provides explanations for each data it analyzes and lets you know how to improve your website’s SEO.

Content Structure

Now it’s time to analyze some tools that will help you build and organize the content of your online course.

While content is highly personal and there is no machine that can do all the work for you, these platforms can help you be more productive, structure your content in a clever way and keep you on track with your progress.

Trello

Trello organization tool for online course creators

Trello is a web-based tool and an application that allows you to create lists and personalize them. Within the platform, you can create boards, lists, and cards and customize them to include your personal tasks and content. You can move cards from list to list in order to track your progress on a certain task.

Trello is a great application to organize your thoughts, manage your to-do lists, schedule tasks and provide a visual representation of your work.

Why is this tool great for creators?

When building an online course it can be challenging to map out all the different ideas and content to cover in your lessons. With Trello you can create lists of all kinds to help you organize your thoughts and better visualize your tasks.

Bonus tip: Heights Platform offers a built-in feature called the Climb Outline, that allows you to organize the content of your online course and structure it into modules and lessons. Learn more about the Climb Outline feature.

AirTable

Airtable organization tool for online course creators

AirTable is a web tool designed to look and function like a spreadsheet and database. It is perfect to create long lists and track the information you need by personalizing the different rows and columns.

You can create tables that resemble a spreadsheet and customize the field to include, adding colors to better visualize the inputs, sort and add filters to rows and columns, and so on.

The options are endless with AirTable and overall is a great tool that can help you organize your work, keep records and analyze data.

Why is this tool great for creators?

AirTable allows you to create lists and organize information. Another scenario where AirTable can be useful for online course creators is to import a list of students' names or answers into your hosting platform.

On Heights Platform, you can link AirTable through Zapier and easily import lists of previous students, just with a few clicks. Learn more about this here: Importing Students via Zapier

Design

A good-looking and stylish online platform will create authority and will be more appealing to your potential customers. If you are using Heights Platform to host your online course, you have the possibility to customize the design of your courses and landing pages to match your favorite colors and brand style.

But you still might want to have a look at these tools to assist you with creating pleasing images, logos, presentations, and much more.

Canva

Canva design tool for online course creators

Canva is an online application you can use to create all sorts of graphic designs. The tool allows you to design visually appealing presentations, social media posts, logos, infographics, hero images, the list goes on.

Differently from other graphic design tools, it is extremely easy to use and you can choose from a variety of templates to customize according to your branding and style. Anyone can create aesthetic images with Canva, no need to be a graphic designer or an expert.

The free version of the software is quite comprehensive, you only pay if you wish to use images protected by copyrights or avail of more professional settings.

Why is this tool great for creators?

Canva is a fantastic tool to create graphics of any kind and make your online course visually appealing to visitors. You can design beautiful images to set as your course thumbnails, use in your email marketing and social media posts.

Final Thoughts

Apps and websites can’t do all the work for you, but can surely be a big help. Today we have listed those tools we believe to be most beneficial for online course creators.

However, the most important software for creators is the online course platform.

When choosing the right solution for you, keep in mind to check how well the software integrates with other tools: Heights Platform makes it easy for creators to link their favorite apps, directly or through Zapier.

Zapier is another important tool for course creators, that allows you to link different platforms together and exchange data seamlessly.

Do you already use any of the tools discussed in this article? Let us know about your favorite applications, and if you are not one of our creators already, check out Heights Platform!

Create Your Online Course Today

Learn More About Creating and Selling Your Course:


Download the Online Course Checklist

Heights Platform 30 Day Online Course Creation Checklist

MOST POPULAR:


RECENT POSTS:


TOPICS: