Are you wanting to start creating your own content? Overwhelmed with the choices? Trust me, I know the feeling.
Over the years I’ve used tons of different tools for creating a variety of content. From what you see here on our website to YouTube and social media. There’s a lot of work that goes into this!
I wanted to show the tools that I use, both paid and free, to help any Explorers who are wanting to begin their own journey in online content creation.
Everything I mention here, the team and I use on a regular basis.
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links for some of the services that are shown here. Making purchases through these links does help support the site and doesn’t cost you anything extra. I do appreciate any support you’re able to provide!
Table of Contents
Photography & Video
Everything you see here isn’t possible without equipment to capture photos and videos. Here’s what I’m currently using:
- Sony Alpha A7III (w/ 28-70 mm lens)
- Sony ZVI Vlogging Camera (w/ vlogging kit)
- iPhone 8 Plus
- Rode VideoMicro Compact Microphone (used with Sony ZV1)
- Rode VideoMic Microphone (used with Sony A7III)
Image Editing & Graphics
It comes as no surprise that there’s a lot of visual work including graphics and image editing. While I’m not a graphics designer, I use a few tools that make this process easier and more streamlined.
This is what I use for touching up photos for Instagram, articles, and for creating YouTube thumbnails!
This is a popular online image creation tool. I use it for quick graphics used for Pinterest and even my Patreon rewards. I pay for the pro version and use it to share image assets and branding colours within my team.
Another online image creation tool. I bought the lifetime version through App Sumo a few years ago and haven’t looked back. What I mainly use this for is the resizing of images for Instagram, Instagram Stories, YouTube Thumbnails, and other platforms.
I find the resizing feature quicker and easier than Canva.
I use Lightroom on both my MacBook and iPhone to touch up my photos. While there’s a monthly fee, I use it daily so it’s worth the cost.
Honourable Mention: Photoshop
The work doesn’t stop once I push out a piece of content. I have to get the word out to all fellow Explorers. Here are some services that I use to get the word out quickly (or while I’m sleeping).
Full Disclosure: I began using the free version of this service, after a few weeks, URLgenius reached out and asked me to be part of their Influencer program.
A common issue with linking to YouTube on Instagram (swipe up), Twitter, or Facebook is the link opens within the app. That means your potential viewer isn’t logged into their YouTube account.
What URLgenius does is create a unique link that automatically opens YouTube when it’s clicked on a mobile device. That way your viewer is logged into their account and can easily leave a comment, like, and most importantly, subscribing.
It’s a fantastic way to increase your engagement when directing your viewers to another platform!
A simple and quick way to queue up social media posts! I’ve been using Buffer for over 5 years and is my go-to for when I want to schedule Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts.
It saves me a ton of time and allows me to batch create social media posts in one sitting.
Another social media scheduler that I’ve recently become fond of. It allows me to batch schedule social media posts with a CSV file. I use this for my evergreen content.
I create one large CSV file with my pre-filled content then upload. Publer does the rest for me!
If you’re on Instagram and create content that you want your audience to view content that’s on your website, YouTube channel, or elsewhere, then you’ve inevitably said “link in bio” at some point.
The issue becomes that you have to constantly update this link and what could happen is someone finds your older content but the link in your bio is not the same anymore.
That’s a potential lost view or sale.
Shorby is a mini-website that you’re able to place multiple links to different types of content! It’s super simple to update and it looks great too. I choose this over linktree because it works so easily and looks fantastic.
Video & Audio Editing
There’s a lot that goes into video editing. Over the years, I’ve moved from the free services onto more expensive products and services. I consider this an investment. I’ll give you free or cheaper alternatives that I’ve used in the past.
Final Cut Pro
This was the first professional video editing software that I learned and that’s what I’ve stuck with. The sticker shock is high, but if you’re serious about video editing then it’s worth the investment.
In recent months, I’ve been adding more music to my YouTube and Instagram TV videos. Artlist.io has a massive catalogue of music to use in your videos. While it’s a bit costly, it’s worth the investment if you’re wanting to improve your videos.
The best part is even if you stop paying for the service you’re still able to use the music you downloaded in your videos.
Alternative: YouTube Music
For our podcast, I use Garageband that’s included with macOS. Since our podcast is between myself and the other wonderful host, it meets our needs.
I do my best to write every day. When it comes to writing, I want the least amount of friction as possible so I’m able to get into my flow and focus on getting words onto the screen.
Here’s what I use for writing! It’s nothing fancy and it may not come as a surprise.
For an initial draft, I’ll use Google Docs. I’ve created templates to help get me writing quicker without having to continuously start from scratch.
It also makes it super simple for our editor to go into the drafts and do our first round of edits.
This is an absolute must for anyone who writes. While I only use the free version (if anyone at Grammarly sees this and wants to work with me, hit me up), I find it essential to help improve your writing.
While it won’t make you an excellent writer, it’ll help you break out of bad habits and catch those pesky grammar mistakes and makes self-editing that much easier.
Grammarly isn’t a replacement for an actual editor, but it does make your editing process easier and also makes your editor happy too.
I’ve been an advocate for WordPress since it’s inception in 2003. This entire website is built on the WordPress platform. While you can make a nice website with services such as Squarespace and Wix, nothing replaces the customization that I believe is necessary for complete control.
There you have it, a list of tools I use for my content creation and promotion. While it may look overwhelming, once you have your own process it becomes second nature.
Are there any tools here that you have questions about? Let me know in the comments!