8 Low Cost Tools to Create Your Online Course

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8 Low Cost Tools to Create Your Online Course

8 Low Cost Tools to Create Your Online Course

It’s easy to wait around for the ‘perfect time’ to create an online course. The ‘perfect time’ normally looks like a fully booked client schedule with lots of spare time and disposable income to play with. I don’t believe there is a ‘perfect time’ to create an online course but I do believe that you can launch your online course on a budget.

In fact, I created my first few online courses for as little as $200 each (and then made 10 times that in profit). So today I wanted to share some of the free and low cost tools that you can use to create your online course too!

8 Low Cost Tools to Create Your Online Course @kathhocking #teachonline #edtech Click To Tweet

1. Thinkific

Thinkific is the perfect platform for online course creators looking for a low cost solution to easily create, market and sell their content. It is a one-stop shop that gives you the ability to host your content and course materials (including PDF, video, audio and more), sell your online course with instant access to your funds (and ability to deliver free, paid and subscription courses) and market your online course with a custom domain and branded landing page.

This is perfect for: online course creators who have invested in a brand identity but want to save funds on sales pages, membership sites and shopping carts

2. Canva

Having your online course content designed can cost anywhere between $500-2,500 (depending on quantity of content and hours required) but if you’re happy to invest your own time then Canva makes it super simple to create PDF workbooks. The free version is perfect for online course creators without a brand as it provides a range of layout suggestions and fonts that you can play with. But don’t worry if you’ve already invested in a brand identity (logo, brand colours, fonts and textures), you can easily bring these all together using Canva for Work.

This is perfect for: online course creators who are happy to do a little brand DIY.

3. Beaver Builder

Already have a WordPress website and want to host your online course there? Then Beaver Builder is an affordable drag and drop WordPress page builder. The page builder plugin will work with your existing website and is a great for designing sales pages and membership sites that look totally professional. All you have to do is choose a template, insert your content and hit publish!

This is perfect for: online course creators who already have a WordPress website and want to host their own sales page.

4. Camtasia

Videos are a great way to provide information to your online course participants as they cater to all learning styles (visual, audio and kinaesthetic). Visual learners can watch the videos, audio learners they can listen to the videos and by adding a downloadable action orientated workbook you can cater to the ‘doers’ (kinaesthetic learners).

Camtasia is a great tool for creating videos as it allows you to record and edit them to look like professionally filmed videos. I use Camtasia to record the Powerpoint presentations of my webinars. While this is a paid service, you can get a 30 day trial and it is very simple to record and upload to your chosen video hosting service.

This is perfect for: online course creators who want to provide demonstrations and tutorials for their participants.

5. Vimeo

Now that you have professionally filmed and edited videos, you’ll need somewhere to host them. Vimeo has both free and paid options that allow you to upload, host and share videos in high quality HD. Once your videos are uploaded to Vimeo then you can share the link or embed them to your website for online course participants to watch. Even better, there are many privacy options to ensure only paying participants can see your videos.

This is perfect for: online course creators who have created videos and want to host them online with options to share the link or embed into a website.

Side note: video hosting is including in all Thinkific plans. So if you’re using Thinkific to host your courses, you don’t need to spend any money on video hosting. 

6. Zoom

Is there a live element to your online course content? Perhaps you’re hosting live calls each month? Or using free webinars to promote the content? Zoom has both a free and paid option that allows you to host live calls with your online course participants. The free version is perfect for short calls with less than 50 participants but if you want the call to go for longer than 40 minutes make sure you upgrade to the paid version or Zoom will kick you out.

This is perfect for: online course creators who want to promote their offering with a series of free webinars or live calls.

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp allows you to keep in touch and continue to connect with your online course participants. Send emails at the click of a button with the free version or set up automated sequences with the paid version.

This is perfect for: online course creators who want an affordable customer management system.

Related: How To Build An Email List (Complete Guide)

8. Zapier

So now that you have an idea of the low cost tools you can use to create your online course, it’s time to bring it all together. Zapier is an app which allows you to connect different apps and create an automation. Not only does Zapier already link with Thinkific, Mailchimp and Zoom, it also recommends Popular Zaps depending on the tools you use. For example, you might want to create a ‘zap’ that subscribes new Thinkific students to Mailchimp.

This is perfect for: online course creators who values ease and flow in their systems and processes.

 


Kathryn Hocking helps passionate service-based entrepreneurs create unlimited impact and income through profitable, purpose-driven eCourses. An eCourse Expert and Launch Strategist, Kathryn built a multiple six-figure business in less than two years through the creation of high quality, passion-fuelled online programs. Her signature course, the eCourse Launch Formula, has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe to put the ‘lifestyle’ back in their lifestyle business through the creation of their very own profitable eCourse.

8 Low Cost Tools to Create Your Online Course @kathhocking #teachonline #edtech Click To Tweet

 

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  • Sil Kogelman

    Nice list of tools Kathryn. Your profit predictor investment metric sounds interesting, see you at the webinar ?

    A couple of software tool alternatives that may be worth mentioning:
    (note: they are not all free tools, but in my case they’ve proven to be great in terms of ROI: as in return on time & money investment)

    Elementor
    As an alternative to Beaver Builder I can recommend Elementor. It has a highly functional free version and their pro version is more affordable than Beaver Builders’ pro version. In my opinion Elementor is more intuitive, easier to work with. Elementor has great widgets for creating sales pages like the pricing table widget and testimonial widget. Other widgets for creating awesome content (blog) pages are also available, I love it. ?

    ScreenFlow
    And as a Mac user ScreenFlow is worth mentioning. This app has proven to be very valuable to me when creating courses and other marketing videos. (And it has a friendlier price point than Camtasia.)
    Other free(ish) screen recording tools are available, but to me the features ScreenFlow offers are well worth its price.

    Wistia
    And (depending on the requirements) as an alternative to Vimeo I used to recommend Wistia. Great features, but lately the price of their pro plans increased to a level that is not super friendly to starters anymore. They do still have a free plan.

    Zapier and Thinkific
    I love Thinkifics Zapier integration. Cool stuff alert: connect Thinkific + Zapier with Pushover. It allows you to get a customizable push message on your phone when you sell a course!

    • Aaron

      Amazing recommendations! We love Screenflow here at Thinkific!

      Just checking out Elementor as well. Looks like a good price! Thanks for sharing!