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What tools do you need to create great online courses?

#onlinebusiness online course small business teach online yoga teacher Mar 02, 2023
Elaine Walsh McGrath is shown sitting smiling in her office on the screen of a laptop. Beside the laptop in elegant writing that says The Tools to use to Create an Online Course with Ease

The first course that I put together was recorded at my kitchen table. It had great natural light coming from the big sliding doors at the back of our house and I had some plants and furniture behind me which gave a nice approachable and interesting feeling to the background.

I recorded it using my really old Macbook and Keynote with me talking over it! At the beginning of each “lesson” I recorded a piece to camera.

Here’s the thing: there was great content in that course.

I had a workbook that yoga teachers could use to create their central marketing strategy.

It covered: 

  • Why? Your niche
  • Who? Your future clients
  • What? Do you say to them?
  • Where? Should you put your message.

It was comprehensive and took new teachers through from finding their niche to where to share their message.

But my sales page was dreadful! And these days using different tools it’s so much easier to create more engaging content for your courses.

When you have decided what topic you’re going to teach and pulled together an outline of your course, you might need a few tools to make life easier. 

In this article I answer some common questions about what I use to prepare and share my courses.

What template to use to create slides for the course, webinars and the supporting workbook? 

I suggest using a designed template. You could get one on Canva or Etsy. The one that I use is from an amazing creator, Amber Chalus. She has a great supportive group on Facebook and teaches people how to use her templates with Canva.

I bought the Ultimate Course Template which came with everything I needed. I love the community that she created so much that I signed up as an affiliate for her. So if you want to check them out here’s the link: https://rebrand.ly/Biz-Sister-Templates

If you end up buying a template I’ll get a small percentage of the sale, so thank you in advance!

What to use to record the videos for the course?

I still use my 2015 Macbook! But I’ve upgraded my web camera because honestlyI just couldn’t deal with the grainy look of my videos with the inbuilt mac webcam.

I bought the Logitech Brio. I did lots of research at the time and decided to make the investment to uplevel the quality of my videos and I’m glad I did. You can buy it on Amazon, if you do again here’s my affiliate link:


If you end up buying it using this link I’ll get a small percentage of the sale as I’ve signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate.

Lighting is important. It makes videos look much more professional.

And since the wifi wasn’t amazing in my kitchen, where you get the best light, I moved to the front room in our house. Originally I had a Neewer 18” ring light. I loved it. But some advice that I got which I will share with you now is that get the lights that you can afford. It is always a good idea to have better lighting. There are options at every price point.

Here’s a good option: It’s an Inkeltech Ring Light - 18 inch 3000K-6000K Dimmable Bi-Color Light Ring https://amzn.to/3S7NLRC 

It’s not the one that I bought as they’re out of stock at the moment. My additional tip is to think about your height and whether you’ll be doing videos standing or not. I’m tall so I went with one that had extra height.

What lights to use if you have glasses?

Life changes… and about a year ago I had to get glasses. So the ring light didn’t work as well for me because you could see the reflection of the light in my glasses! I invested in softbox lights from Neewer! Some people might think that was crazy, but honestly when I turn them on I feel like I’m ready to perform.

These are the ones that I bought:

Neewer Photography Bi-Color Dimmable LED Softbox Lighting Kit: 20x27 inches Studio Softbox 45W Dimmable LED Light Head with 2 Color Temperature and Light Stand for Photo Studio Portrait Video Shooting

But they’re not available at the moment. So I would check out the Softbox Lighting Kit, skytex Continuous Photography Lighting Kit with 2x20x28in Soft Box


I always go with something that’s well reviewed and has lots of purchases when I’m buying something that’s outside my realm of expertise, which at the time, photography lights were!

But I’ve had them for a couple of years and I use them for online networking, my coaching sessions and shooting my online courses.

If you end up buying it using this link I’ll get a small percentage of the sale as I’ve signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate.

How do I record the actual presentation?

I use Zoom. For many of my courses I record them live. I like the energy of teaching live. And generally I offer the recordings as a course afterwards. 

If for some reason you haven’t used Zoom before then here’s a link to check it out:


I changed the recording settings to save it to my local computer. 

The other software I use is Loom. It’s so handy for creating short tutorials.


What about writing out the notes from the videos for the course?

A great time saver for converting your videos or audio training to text is a software called Descript. I have to admit that I only use about 10% of what it can do, but I still love it. It’s great for creating show notes:

Check out this link for more information:


If you end up signing up, by using this link I’ll get a small percentage of the sale as I’ve signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate. 

Great sound is important for video. 

Initially I used the internal microphone from my MacBook but I recently invested in an Apogee Mic Plus. I bought mine locally but you can get it on Amazon. 

Click the link below for more information:


If you end up buying it using this link I’ll get a small percentage of the sale as I’ve signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate.

When I have finished recording my video I usually compress it using a free open source tool called Handbrake. It makes videos easier for people to watch and quicker for you to upload to wherever you are going to make them available to your students.


Finally I use Kajabi as my Learning Management System. 

Here’s my affiliate link https://rebrand.ly/Kajabi30daytrial

It gives users a 30 day trial instead of the standard 14 day trial. If you want a behind the scenes look at my courses when you’ve started your trial then drop me a line to [email protected] and let’s get on a Zoom call together.

And that’s the list of tools that I use. If you have any questions about any of the tools I use then come on over to my Facebook Group and feel free to ask me a question. I’m not a techie but I’ll answer based on my personal experience.




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