“So Henry went on to create an online course. And the rest is history.”

We’ve all heard stories of how some people became successful online course creators. Thanks to the free tools for creating online courses, this opportunity is available to everyone today. 

These tools help you build revenue streams and reach hundreds of thousands of students. But more importantly, they help you realize your potential.

In this blog, we’ve shared the best low-cost tools and free software you’ll need to create your online course. We’ve covered everything from hosting and creation tools to email marketing platforms and payment solutions. And importantly, we've covered all-in-one tools as well.

Low-cost and free software for video

We discuss two platforms that will help you record, edit, and host video lessons. Each has a free trial so don't forget to take them for a spin before you zero in on one of them!

Software for creating videos: Camtasia

Screenshot: Camtasia website

What it does: Create and edit videos 

Free trial: Yes, available

Pricing model: Yearly billing starting around US$200 a year 

Camtasia is a great tool to record and edit videos since it doesn’t require any advanced skills. And the outcomes look very professional, which will be a big plus when you start selling your course.

There are at least two ways you can use Camtasia. One is where you directly record your screen through Camtasia and then edit to produce the final video lessons. Alternatively, you may upload videos you have created elsewhere and then edit them here.

Additional Camtasia features and use cases

  • Besides using it with your learning management systems, you can use it for internal training too.
  • Add different transition effects, like in Powerpoint presentations, and create visually appealing videos.
  • You may add both, the sound from the microphone and the sound that your system generates. That accurately simulates in-person teaching.
  • To make every course a fully teachable course, Camtasia lets you use your cursor in a variety of ways. That way, you can focus the attention of your students wherever you want.

Free screen recorder tool Loom

Screenshot: Screen recorder Loom website

What it does: Records screen and lets you collaborate

Free trial: Yes, available

Pricing model: Starts at US$ 12.50/mo 

With online courses, you'll often need to do some activity on your laptop screen that you want to show your students - say, how you solve a math problem, for instance. And Loom becomes your perfect choice. It is simple and quick, so you won't miss anything when you record your screen.

Moreover, you can easily share the videos. Loom has several uses cases for businesses and tutors. Let's say you have solved a math problem till halfway and you want your students to complete it. Go ahead, simply share the link, and lo! Your students can watch the video and complete the rest of the problem based on what you've taught them.

Additional Loom features and use cases

  • One of the biggest strengths of Loom is how it enables you to edit. Instead of going all over again to record the perfect shot, you can simply hit the Rewind button. You can go back to wherever you want to, and restart. The best part: you can do all this even while you're recording.
  • With Loom, it's not just about video; it's about how easily you can share it. For instance, if you'd like to add few details to explain an assignment to your students, just shoot and share it across diverse platforms like Google Workspace or Slack.
  • Small details add upto big benefits. Loom lets you add comments, CTAs, tasks, and even emojis to your video. That makes your course content more interactive and your conversation more natural!
  • There's also an arrangement where you can learn who has watched your video. If someone's logged in and is watching your video, Loom will let you know. That's a big plus, since you don't have to keep track of who's watched your video and who hasn't.

Wistia for video recording and editing

Screenshot: Wistia website, editing and analytics

What it does: Create and edit videos 

Free trial: Yes, available

Pricing model: Monthly as well as yearly billing, starts at US$19/mo

If you’re looking for a video creation platform with multiple features, you should consider Wistia. You can record the screen or use a webcam to record a video. Then you can edit the video, trim it, and even add free background music. Besides, you may also use Wistia for live webinars.

And because Wistia is a popular video hosting platform, you will also get detailed analytics about the performance of your videos. Just what you need to make your awesome course into the best online course in your domain!

Additional Wistia features and use cases

  • In YouTube, your videos are displayed under the YouTube banner. Wistia videos, on the other hand, are white-labelled for your custom domain. That way, you don't just create courses, you create a brand.
  • It is a great video hosting service. So instead of having to rely on YouTube, you can embed Wistia videos on your own site. That gives you a clean, distraction-free environment that's conducive to learning.
  • You can control several settings to decide how your video can be viewed. For instance, you can remove the scroll bar, so your viewers do not skip important videos or sections.
  • With its in-built tools, Wistia helps you sell online courses. This kind of support is very important, especially if it's your first online course.

Tools to create a course landing page

Showing your course outline can't sell online courses - your landing pages have to be compelling. And you should be able to make data-backed decisions so that you can constantly tweak and improve.

Because of their capabilities, the three platforms we cover below are just as popular with the online teaching community as with other industries. Go ahead, register for a free account and test-drive them to understand which of them best meets your needs.

Zoho for amazing landing pages

Screenshot: Zoho website

Use it to: Create landing pages

Free trial: 14-day free trial

Pricing model: Yearly as well as monthly billing

Right from the day you create your first course, you want landing pages that go beyond mere course description. Zoho makes selling online courses hassle-free and efficient. Online course creators can create sales pages without any coding knowledge, because everything is templatized. 

What’s more, you can use their AI-powered digital assistant to write the copy that aligns with your course content. And you get a free SSL certificate for enhanced security. The best part? Their analytics tool for tracking your landing page’s performance to see how you’re doing and where you need to improve.

Additional Zoho features and use cases

  • You can integrate your Zoho landing page with Google ads. This will give you all the insights you need, without having to jump to and fro.
  • Real-time analytics will tell you how people find your virtual classrooms and how the pages are performing. Make data-backed decisions to achieve landing page optimization.
  • With their A/B testing, Zoho lets you figure out what designs and layouts attract the most people to your online courses. This lets you use the best variant and thus drive more conversions.
  • Zoho analytics helps course creators for their dual goals of building the best online course and creating strong revenue streams. You can track learners as they go from being visitors to registering for your free online course to becoming paid students.

Unbounce: Landing pages at an affordable price

Screenshot: Unbounce website

Use it to: Create landing pages

Free trial: Available

Pricing model: Yearly as well as monthly billing, starting US$74/mo

One of the important features of Unbounce is that it allows you A/B testing (aka Split Testing). You can compare the performance of two alternatives and see for yourself which one helps you sell courses better. Use it while you launch a new course (or even the first course) to choose the most optimized landing page design.

In addition to a host of other features, Unbounce integrates with nearly all the popular tools. That means you can automate lots of activities without having to lose sleep over it. And you can convert more traffic into paid users with popups designed for improved engagement.

Additional Unbounce features and use cases

  • You can use their direct integrations to connect with the marketing platform of their choice. In case there’s no integration, you could go to Zapier and easily build one.
  • They have a dynamic text replacement feature. With that, you can simply replace existing text with the text a user has used during their search. This will make your content appear more relevant, more useful.
  • If you are technically inclined, you can enrich your course pages by adding new interactive elements using Javascript and CSS.
  • Their AI content assistant is there to help you to fill content gaps or even help you improve writing. Go ahead and create online courses; the rest of the things are taken care of.

Free website builder Wix

Screenshot: Wix Website

Use it to: Design and set up websites and landing pages

Free trial: Available

Pricing model: Starts at $17/mo. Comes with a 14-day moneyback guarantee

As a platform for landing page and websites, Wix comes with several unique features. From hosting a simple blog to a full-fledged website with payment solutions, Wix lets you do everything effortlessly.  You can either build everything yourself or, alternatively, hire someone to do it for you from the nearly 2,000 professionals listed on the Wix website.

Its website creation software is so intuitive you'll feel like you're a coder (even when you aren't one) who knows their way around for everything online. Course creation should be your priority, not juggling codes and designs.

Additional Wix features and use cases

  • Do you like to think of your online school as an ecommerce site, where people can make online purchases? Wix has just the right solution for you. Launch your online course with all the advanced features you want and help your students succeed better.
  • An important part of running a tutoring agency is scheduling both classes and teachers. Wix can easily help you with setting appointments with students, teachers, and other stakeholders.
  • With over 900 templates to choose from, Wix helps you create you course landing page faster and better. You have virtually endless combinations to choose from.
  • Want to speed things even more? Their AI feature will help you get your website up and running in no time.

Free email marketing platforms

Of the many email marketing platforms out there, we’ve chosen AWeber, ConvertKit, and MailerLite because each stands out in certain aspects. AWeber has a generous free tier plan, ConvertKit offers you the option of running paid newsletters, while MailerLite has a super-simple interface.

Email marketing for small businesses: AWeber

Screenshot: AWeber website

Use it to: Design and send email campaigns

Free trial: Available

Pricing model: Yearly as well as monthly billing, starting US$12.5/mo

From the day you get serious about course creation, it’s time to start thinking about email marketing as well. AWeber offers you great segmentation, so you can personalize messages and easily get superior engagement. Also, you can effortlessly add AWeber into your existing workflows and automate things smoothly.

If you’re looking for some AI help, AWeber has an AI assistant for the copy as well as the email subject line. Finally, an additional feature you’ll love is you can design from Canva without having to exit your AWeber account. So the point is: spend more time on creating courses and let such smart platforms do the heavy lifting for you.

Additional AWeber features and use cases

  • Schedule your campaigns and save time. You can schedule a number of emails in one sitting and then get on to your next tasks. The AWeber system will automatically keep triggering emails at the correct times. A great time-saver for online course creators.
  • It's a no-code platform in every sense of the word. You can design the entire email with their drag-and-drop builder. Just teach your own course; don't worry about having to learn something entirely different.
  • Their automatic link preview is another great feature. It will automatically expand a link so your students can preview the link. Feel free to insert a link to your paid course so students can get a glimpse of what you're offering.
  • It's easier than ever to create a branded email.  So now, your learning materials, your landing page, your email, everything carries the same consistent visual experience of your brand.

ConvertKit for hassle-free email marketing

Screenshot: ConvertKit website

Use it to: Run email marketing campaigns and newsletters

Free trial: Upto 10,000 subscribers, it's free

Pricing model: Starts at US$25/mo

Remember when you started creating online courses your top priority was the quality of course content? Don't worry, the ConvertKit platform takes care of lots of things so that you can do what you're best at: course creation and teaching. Go ahead, bury yourself in online course creation; ConvertKit will work in the background and support you.

Right when you sign up, you get a free subdomain e.g. yourbrand.ck.page. We believe that's incredible, because even while you're growing an audience, you get the opportunity to have a branded page for yourself.

Additional ConverKit features and use cases

  • If your biggest challenge is growing your list, ConvertKit makes it easy for you. You can setup a landing page, share it, and start building your list as people begin signing up.
  • Some of the paid plans give you detailed help, like subject line suggestion and personalization. But even while you use the basic plan, you’ll have access to the important features like marketing campaign calendar, reach and engagement reporting, and polls and surveys.
  • ConvertKit will help you with list segmentation. You're a course creator, not a marketer but ConvertKit will help you pitch different course features to different segments in a professional manner.
  • You can use their marketing automation feature to schedule your emails and text messages, based on timing and actions. For instance, if someone decides to purchase your course and suddenly abandons their cart ... well, you can set a series of recovery emails for abandoned carts.
  • Last but not the list, you can use ConvertKit's special list building tool. That will help you reach more students and expand.

Popular email marketing platform MailerLite

Screenshot: Post-login dashboard of MailerLite

Use it to: Email campaigns, landing page, and websites

Free trial: Available for upto 1,000 subscribers

Pricing model: Starts at US$ 9/mo

We could have also included MailerLite in our list of landing page builders, since they have the capability for both email campaigns and landing page. But first, the biggest positive about MailerLite: their interface is clean and simple. There will be literally no learning curve; create an account and you can start getting things done like you are a veteran to the platform.

Additional Stripe features and use cases

  • As mentioned earlier, MailerLite is not just about email campaigns. You can build landing pages, and even full-fledged websites with just a single MailerLite account.
  • You can also setup transactional emails with MailerLite. For instance, when a student requests a change in password or registers for a test, the system will automatically send them an email with a relevant message.
  • MailerLite will also let you host signup forms. While the best online course platform will help you run the course successfully, a powerful signup form will bring you the audience for your course.
  • Even if you're sending an email campaign for the first time, their friendly, hand-holding approach will make things easy and simple for you. MailerLite is simple to use; you'll be able to spend more time into course creation than you thought.

Payment collection solutions

What's the point in having a very affordable price for your course if fees collection is a hassle? Fortunately, there are a number of payment tools and platforms that make a course creator's life easier. Here, we examine two such tools: Stripe and PayPro.

Financial and payment solution Stripe

Screenshot: Payment solution Stripe

Use it to: Collect payments for your courses

Pricing model: Varies based on countries and features, starting at 0.5%

Other charges: No monthly fees or setup charges

Once the student has used up the free plan and is ready to make a purchase, what's the next step? That's where a payment solution like Stripe comes in: embed it on your course page and the student can effect the payment in just a few clicks.

There are dozens of feature that Stripe offers: fee collection in over 135 currencies, high security, compliance, invoicing, support... the list is pretty exhaustive. As a matter of fact, you can use it to accept payment online as well as in person. And the best part: it supports recurring payments, so you collect fees at a regular interval, thus reducing dropouts.

Additional Stripe features and use cases

  • Stripe gives you real-time information on charges, refunds, and transfers. This means you always have updated information.
  • As the new age tool for receiving payments, Stripe empowers you to build online courses that work on recurring revenue model as well as one on one-off models.
  • With Stripe, you can control the payment frequency. Decide whether you want the payouts of the fees they've collected on your behalf on a weekly basis or monthly basis.
  • If you bring in other coaches for your course, you can easily build accounts so you can easily link to their bank accounts and make timely payments.

Online payment solution Razorpay

Screenshot Razorpay website

Use it to: Collect and schedule online payments

Pricing model: 2% transaction fees

Other charges: No monthly fees or setup charges

One of India's best online payment platforms, Razorpay has helped thousands of businesses. Their easy interface with buttons, QR codes, and links make it easy for your students to enroll and pay for your courses.

Additional Razorpay features and use cases

  • With Razorpay, you can easily collect international payments, including SWIFT, SEPA and other formats. Geography is no longer a boundary course creators.
  • Razorpay offers a Route system. That means you can split incoming payments among your internal accounts. With this, you can easily share the fees with the tutors or other team-members you have hired.
  • Even if you don't have a website, you can collect payments by setting up Razorpay payment pages. No more waiting for websites to go live.
  • Razorpay gives you total control over how frequently you wish to collect fees. You can set up monthly, quarterly, or annual cycles when the students of your online course will be making payments. This automation frees you from a lot of administrative and accounting work.

Full-service re-seller PayPro

Screenshot PayPro Global payment solutions

Use it to: Collect and schedule payments for your courses

Pricing model: Available upon request

Other charges: No monthly fees or setup charges

The payment collection system of PayPro works like a re-seller of your online business. They will help push the free version of your course, and then collect payment on your behalf when the student is ready to make the payment. No matter whether you've been in the industry long or whether you've just started creating online courses, this arrangement will let you have better control over how your students can make the payment.

The goal behind having PayPro is to make subscription easier. And subscriptions, as you can clearly see, means low churn and lifetime revenue. They have multiple options within billing (duration, frequency, and currency), which means people buying your course will find it easier to join and start accessing your course material.

Additional PayPro features and use cases

  • PayPro provides you detailed reports and analytics. As a result, you have the right numbers on which to base your decisions.
  • One key advantage that PayPro enjoys is its long experience. Having been in the industry for 15 years now, PayPro can provide some unusual level of detailing and support that's difficult to find elsewhere.
  • Think of your course as one that uses a SaaS model. PayPro's subscription management model helps you not only with billing but also makes managing sales tax and VAT a great deal easier.

Free online design and photo-editing tools

As you advance in your course creation journey, you'll realize that design plays an increasingly important role. Your photographs should tell a great story, your designs should please the people who might buy your course. That's because the modern audience is spoilt for choices; without great visual designs, you won't be able to deliver the experience your target audience is expecting.

Editing and design tools like Canva and AdobeExpress are so rich you might not require the help of a professional designer or photo editor any time soon. Let's study both platforms.

Create designs for free with Canva

Screenshot: Design platform Canva

Use it to: Create and edit images, pictures, and videos

Pricing model: Free forever model available. Paid plans begin at $12/mo

Other plans: Pro and Team plans available

If you've every tried to create graphic designs that will add muscle to your learning management system, you probably know Canva. One of the best known and most loved online design platforms, Canva offers dozens of options to design: logos, infographics, ebooks, videos, posts, flyers, invites, visiting cards, ... Chances are, anything you can think of in design, Canva has what you're looking for.

With one of the biggest collections of images and designs even under the free plan, the only thing you'll need with Canva is your creativity. The best part, perhaps, is that the free plan is so generous that it will be some time before you graduate to the paid plan.

Additional Canva features and use cases

  • Canva's suite of tools allows you to create whiteboard, docs, newsletters, infographics, postcards, flyers, presentations, ebook cover pages, posters, LinkedIn background photos, videos, Instagram photos, and more.
  • You can leverage AI with Canva's app and use Dall-E for images, Murf AI for text to speech conversion, AI-generated avatars for presentations and more.
  • Canva has a huge collections of icons, images, designs, templates, and more. Some of these  assets are available only under the paid plan, while the others are available under the free plan as well. Given that visual aids substantially improve learning, don't be surprised if you see great student feedback after you add these designs.
  • One of their features, Canva Bulk Create, is available under the paid version. As the name suggests, you can quickly create a number of invites, visiting cards, certificates, and more, with minor changes like name, numbers, or date.

Adobe Express for images, photo, and video

Screenshot: Adobe Express website

Use it to: Edit photos and design visual assets

Pricing model: 30-day free trial available

Paid plans: Paid plans begin at $9.99/mo

Adobe Express brings expertise and convenience to your photo and image creation, and editing experience. Many activities that you routinely do with photos (e.g. changing the background) are so easy there's no learning curve. Even the sophisticated features don't take you much time to master.

When you build a premium course library, you'll see that the students, just like corporate trainees and clients, care deeply for the visual experience. Adobe Express helps you with the visual aids that can convert a simple course page into a powerful sales page.

Additional Adobe Express features and use cases

  • You can change background, edit texture, and add photo frames. You can reposition the images, change colors, and effects. Basically, you can do nearly everything you wish to do with photos.
  • If you wish to work on posters, Adobe Express has a rich collection of free photos and templates that you can easily modify (some may require Adobe Express membership). There are a number of advanced edits available, including color changer, clone, dodge, curves, levels, and more.
  • Want to create arresting LinkedIn posts or YouTube thumbnails? Adobe Express has a big number of alternatives to choose from. Or go ahead and start with a blank canvas. Almost any graphic that you think will facilitate your students' online learning is possible here.
  • Adobe Express lets you leverage AI efficiently; even the free tier gives you 25 AI generative credits for images and templates. The paid plans not only offer you more credits but also offer commercial safety and IP indemnification of images generated from Adobe Firefly.

All-in-one solutions for online courses

Thankfully, there are platforms that have most of the above under one roof; all you need is to sign up and begin selling your course.

Here are three platforms that can do exactly that..

Create and sell courses with EdisonOS

Source: EdisonOS screenshot

EdisonOS is one of the leading Edtech infrastructure development tools that provide diversity to any Edupreneurs to Build, Manage, and Grow their Educational Business.

Proven expertise

  • EdisonOS is built to help Edupreneurs with a one-stop solution to launch and grow their Edtech Company. You may use EdisonOS to offer courses for upskilling, B2B training, art, sports coaching, and design courses, among others.
  • Some of the biggest names in the education space use EdisonOS - My2tor, Test Maestro, SatNPaper, Marigold Prep, SageX, Sapa, and many more .... EdisonOS is the perfect partner for a mid-to-large-sized Educational company and a great startup platform with subsidized pricing for aspiring Edupreneurs.

Testing environment

  • EdisonOS has created the perfect environment for tests like the SAT. Your students will get to experience the exact test-like feel before their big day.
  • EdisonOS has researched and analyzed some tests to the most granular level possible. No surprise, therefore, that they can create the most accurate Digital SAT replica possible.

Technology

  • EdisonOS pages load as much as 85% faster. That's an incredible push for better search engine rankings and a delightful customer experience.
  • Their inbuilt SEO builder tool will optimize your content for better, higher visibility in searches. Your digital marketing starts with a huge advantage.

Test the most advanced and integrated course creation software that helps you craft the best experience for your students.

Take a free trial today.(CTA)

Support

  • Their community-led spaces are famous for the insights and support they offer.
  • Learn and draw inspiration from their podcasts that feature teacher-preneurs who've made it big. All this makes EdisonOS the best platform to launch an online course.
  • Dedicated Success Managers who have experience of over a decade in the field of Edtech business building who are available to train, help, solve, and co-build your education business.

Pricing

  • You may start your free trial or book a personalized demo for more.
  • Paid plans start at $129. That's a real bargain, considering how much they offer.

Launch your online course with Thinkific

Screenshot: Thinkific website

Another alternative you can consider for creating and selling online courses is Thinkific. You can run a paid course or you can manage your own paid community with the help of Thinkific.

Here's what you get with Thinkific:

  • customized website themes
  • mobile app for courses as well as for communities
  • marketing support through coupons and offers
  • full infrastructure for courses, quizzes, assignments, downloads, and more
  • integrations to makes your operations and marketing easier than ever
  • 14-day free trial
  • pricing starts at US$36/mo

Online course creation platform Kajabi

Screenshot: Online course creation with Kajabi

A well-known name for course creation, Kajabi brings to the table the simplicity and suite of features that tutors really need.

Here's a quick overview of what Kajabi offers as an all-in-one solution:

  • facility to monetize newsletters, courses, and even podcasts, and generate streams of revenue generation
  • rich resources like webinars and blogs from where to learn important stuff like building funnels, pricing, and more
  • a vibrant and helpful community that is ready to answer any questions you might have
  • website building and email marketing support
  • 14-free trial
  • pricing plans start at $55/mo

Discover the Ultimate Course Software – Craft Unforgettable Learning Experiences! 

Create an online course for free: Over to you

As we said earlier, creating, promoting, and selling your course is no longer a hassle - provided you have the right set of tools.

Now that you've seen all the paid and free software and tools available to create an online course, you have two broad choices: go and work with multiple tools, or choose one platform that offers you nearly everything under a single roof.

The majority of course creators choose the second option because working with a single platform is incredibly easier than working with multiple tools. Getting used to different interfaces, juggling different functionalities, stitching them all together... this proves to be a formidable task for many. So be sure to make your choice wisely.

In any case, you must make a start. The first step is the most important one; what are you waiting for?

Author
Mayank Batavia
Content Strategist
Table of Content
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