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The Best Tools

    Sometimes it’s hard to find what you’re looking for especially when there’s just so many different products and so much information out there! So, here is my full list of programs and sites that I love and would gladly recommend to my friends. If you haven’t heard of any of these, I highly suggest that you check it out! Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which just means that I earn a commission if someone signs up using my link. I only become an affiliate with sites and products that I honestly enjoy and have experience with. Please only purchase products that make you excited or that will help in your business endeavors!

    Table of Contents:

     

    STARTING A WEBSITE ^

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    I buy all of my new domains from NameSilo. They offer lifetime WHOIS privacy for all of your domains so people can’t lookup your address/phone information that you used to register the site. See for yourself! Absolutely recommended. Use the coupon code VIDEOHELP for $1 off your domain!
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    One thing that I’ve always hated about making websites is having to pay monthly fees. Not with Lifetime.Hosting! Pay once and never pay again! This site is hosted on it and the support staff is great!
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    In all seriousness, if I had to build posts/websites without this plugin, I’d go crazy. The only reason this site looks even halfway decent is because of this WordPress plugin. It’s so easy to drag and drop text boxes, images, make columns, borders, and so much more! There’s no need to learn complicated HTML codes as long as you have Visual Composer!

    VIDEO CREATION PROGRAMS ^

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    Powtoon solves a lot of problems when it comes to video creation. It has a huge collection of animated characters and will help you create really great explainer or promotional videos! It’s constantly being updated with new features and is worth checking out!

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    Currently, my favorite whiteboard animation software. The level of customization is mind blowing and you can even save your project as a PNG sequence to put over OTHER videos! It comes with a huge sketch image library and it’s so much fun to use.
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    If you only wanted to learn one program to create your videos, I would highly suggest Explaindio. Not only is it extremely easy to edit and mix animated slides (200+ included), you can also make whiteboard animations and include them in your video! It’s an extremely useful program!

    VIDEO EDITING ^

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    I really like VSDC because it doesn’t require a powerful computer like Da Vinci Resolve Lite or Lightworks does. It’s more complicated than Windows Movie Maker but you can do things that Movie Maker can’t do like Picture in Picture, edit/time audio, and create custom effects.
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    If you want complete control over your videos and want to use a professional software, I recommend Premiere Pro. Whatever you’re trying to do in your video, there’s definitely a way to do it in Premiere Pro!
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    I really like Camtasia. I use it to record and edit my training videos. It’s so easy to overlay text and images over the video and even zoom in and out whenever you want! It’s an amazing program for course/tutorial creators.

    AUDIO EDITING ^

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    The best free audio editing program that I’ve used. I talk about it in all of my courses because it’s so easy to use and it makes your videos so much more professional. You can remove mistakes and background noise to create the perfect voiceover for your video!
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    If you’re looking for a paid audio editing/mixing program, check out Audition. There are tons of features and it’ll help you easily record and edit your music or voiceover for your next video!

    SCREEN RECORDING ^

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    OBS is my favorite free screen recording program. There are no recording length limits, no forced watermark on your recording, and you can record in high definition 1080p! This is also the program that I recommend if you’re a video game streamer and want to record 60fps gameplay videos. Highly recommended!

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    A great screen recording program that you can use directly from your web browser or download/install to your computer. It’s easy to use and you can start recording your screen within minutes. There’s a 15-minute per-recording limit with the free version so it’s perfect for tutorials/how-to videos.
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    Since Camtasia is both a screen recording and video editing program, I figured I’d list it again for continuity’s sake. It’s a great all-in-one program that is used by tons of course/tutorial creators. I use it for all of my tutorial videos!

    ROYALTY-FREE VIDEOS AND MUSIC ^

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    If you need video footage, motion backgrounds, or After Effects video templates, Videoblocks has it all. Finding free HD video footage is hard, so I don’t mind paying for it, especially considering the sheer size of the site and its overall quality.
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    AudioBlocks has a great selection of songs that you can use. It even has a license generator so that if your video gets flagged on Youtube, you can just submit your license and have the flag removed!

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    A very popular collection of songs by the generous Kevin MacLeod. There are hundreds of songs to choose from in all types of musical styles. To use his tracks, you just have to credit the music somewhere in your description/video.
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    A great resource for video creators! Youtube has curated over 1000+ songs that you can download and use in your videos. From the site, you can tell immediately which tracks require attribution and which ones you can use freely.

    AWESOME PROGRAMS ^

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    If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to find files on your computer, Everything Search is a godsend! It’s so much faster than the standard Windows search and you can search by case/word, or search only in a particular path! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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    If you’re still using your default video player like Windows Media Player or Quicktime, I highly suggest that you give VLC Player a shot. Not only is it light on resources, VLC Player has a ton of codecs built in to run almost any video/song file that you throw at it. You can create screenshots of your video, create a thumbnail gallery, convert videos, and tons more!

    MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS ^

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    “People don’t buy what you do, they buy what you do it and what you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe.” Definitely one of my favorite TedTalks. He talks about Apple, TiVo, and the Wright Brothers, and a bunch more!
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    “There are way too many people in this room right now that are doing stuff they hate.” I always enjoy listening to Gary V. This video was the first one that I saw from him and it left a lasting impression on me. He’s a perfect example of putting in the time and doing the hard work day in and day out.
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    “To be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could be.” One of my favorite, most inspiring videos! Just like Gary V.’s “Stop watching F***ing Lost,” Eric Thomas talks about sacrifice and doing what needs to be done to become successful.
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    “We were made to be awesome!” An inspiring little video from Kid President about getting out there and creating awesome things. A really cute pick-me-up when you’re in a slump!

    Veronica Mars Taught Me How to Network

    When I do monotonous tasks like captioning videos or waiting for videos to render, I usually put on something to watch in the background. My latest distraction has been watching Veronica Mars (2004-2007) for the first time.

    For those who may have also missed the show’s original airing, it’s about a teenage girl named Veronica Mars. Her father is a private investigator, which Veronica has also become quite skilled at herself. Her schoolmates often find themselves in a jam and call upon Veronica to help them out.

    If you haven’t watched it, you should. Watching the teenage Kristen Bell solve crimes is awesome! There are also a surprising number of cameos. But anyway, what can we learn from this high school sleuth?

    1. PEOPLE ASKED FOR HER HELP BECAUSE OF HER REPUTATION [OF FIXING THINGS]

    Even if the person didn’t particularly like Veronica, the troubled teen would know instantly to seek Veronica out because of her amazing track record. She didn’t need to advertise her services because people actively sought her out, knowing that she was their best chance for success. I hope to be like that someday.

    When a new video program comes out, I want people to message me and ask “so what do you think about XX?” or “When is your course on XX coming out?” haha, that would be awesome! The only way that will ever happen is if I can show people what I can do with what’s currently available. It’s tough to build something and when it’s done, wonder “okay…now what?” I want to build more courses, but I have to get my name out there somehow! Which brings me to my next point…

    2. PEOPLE KNEW WHERE TO FIND HER

    Whenever someone had a problem, he/she would know to go to the girl’s bathroom (yes, guys, too) to plead his/her case. While I know that each social media platform has its own favored type of content, I think it’s good to have one major platform that people know that it’s the best place to reach you. I don’t have a following yet, but I think there’s a lot of merit in Twitter.

    I just read an article about the World’s Friendliest Influential Social Media Experts that showed that Twitter isn’t just for posting an interesting article or an update about yourself. We can actually interact with people and build relationships! I gotta say that I was pretty stoked when Gary Vaynerchuk responded to my e-mail and when Patt Flynn replied to my tweet! I’ve been so inspired by both of them over the years that I think it must be a similar feeling when a person meets a famous celebrity/sports player. I’d love to get to the point where someone was actually happy to receive a Twitter reply from me! Haha, oh my. Moving on!

    3. WHEN SHE NEEDED HELP, PEOPLE HELPED

    She helped so many people that whenever she needed help making a connection or with something that she wasn’t good at, she had someone she could ask for help. These people weren’t necessarily her friend, but they still tried to help her because they knew her character and that she wouldn’t do anything with malicious intent.

    I try to always keep in mind that helping people should be my number one priority. Focus on providing value and showing that value and people will be happy to help you or learn from you. It’s a struggle in my mind as to what to keep in my courses and what to just release for free. Heck, if I could, I would love to just release all of my courses and tutorials for free and set up a Patreon for anyone who wants to donate to support me. That’s probably still a ways down the line since I’m still struggling with getting traction to the site, but damn, that would be amazing!

    Marketing myself is such a foreign concept in my brain. Putting up content and praying that people will find me won’t work. I gotta get out there and start making some noise! If Veronica could do it, I have to do it, too!

    Check it out on Amazon

    How to Properly Install Your Webcam or Microphone

    So here’s a fast tutorial for those who want to make sure that their webcams or microphones are installed properly so that they can start using them to create their videos!

     

    SETTING UP: DRIVERS AND SOFTWARE

    Especially for webcams, make sure that you’ve downloaded the proper software for it before you connect it to your computer. For my Logitech C920 webcam, I had to download the “Logitech Webcam Software” from their website in order for my webcam to work properly. Once the software/drivers are properly installed, plug in your device.

    Make sure that you have the most recent drivers available for your device by googling the device model and the word “drivers.” A “driver” is basically what your computer needs in order to identify your device. Without it, the computer won’t know what you’re plugging into it! Many devices will automatically install the necessary drivers just by plugging it in. However, if you accidentally pull the cable out too early while it was installing or if the included drivers are too old, it may not work as intended. Also, only download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website and not some shady website with big download buttons!

    To check whether or not my devices are working, I open up Skype. From the main Skype window, I go to Tools > Options. If you’re testing a microphone, you can click on “Audio Settings” and “Make a free test call.” This will let you record a snippet of audio using your microphone and hear exactly what is being picked up by your microphone!

    If you’re testing a webcam, go to “Video Settings.” If your webcam is installed properly, it will show its display in the preview window at the top. If everything looks good, you can close Skype and start using your device to create your videos!

     

    TROUBLESHOOTING

    If you’ve already plugged in your device and you don’t think it’s working properly, go to your Device Manager. If you’re on Windows 10 (which you should be!) You can access it by typing it into your Windows search bar.

    This will show you a detailed list of everything that is currently connected to your computer. If you’re checking to see if your microphone or webcam is connected properly, check in the “Sound, video and game controllers” section.

    If you see a yellow question mark next to your webcam or microphone, right-click on the device and click “Uninstall.” Check the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox and click “OK.” This will delete the device from your computer so that you can try to install it properly. Unplug your device from your computer and install any drivers or software that you need for your device. Once it’s installed, restart your computer and try to plug in your device again.

    So I hope that helped you at least get a little closer to figuring out why your recording device won’t connect. There are a ton of different models and computer and operating system combinations. If it’s just not working, you might want to consider buying a different microphone (preferably a USB microphone) and save yourself the headache of trying to troubleshoot your old one.

    For my webcam, I use the Logitech C920. It’s a great 1080p HD webcam that takes great, clear video. I have it on a mini tripod on my desk so that I can move it around if I need a better angle. The audio on the webcam is also pretty good, but it’s not clear enough for me if I’m trying to create a voiceover for a video. (But good enough for Skype!)

    For audio recording, I use a Blue Yeti microphone. The Yeti doesn’t need any drivers/software installed before you can use it. Just plug it in and start recording! I used to use the Blue Snowball, but the audio sounded a little hollow to me. If you don’t have either, it’s definitely better to pay a little more and go with the higher-quality option right out of the gate!

    Until next time, this is Luke, signing off.

    Thanks for reading!

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