Tools I use to run my online content business

Here’s a run down of the main tools I use to create, record, edit, publish & market video courses, run this website, and do freelance Google Sheet, Apps Script and Data Studio development projects.

If you have any questions, or want to know how I do X, give me a shout!


Teachable

I did a LOT of research into different platforms before launching my first course. Teachable consistently garnered great reviews from online teachers, and any gripes they had were mostly minor. Since publishing my first course in February 2017, I’ve been hugely impressed. The platform allows me to focus on creating courses, and not having to worry about delivering them.


MailChimp

MailChimp is an email service provider that sends squillions of emails a day, of which some occasionally come from me. In 2.5 years, I’ve had nothing to complain about. I use MailChimp to manage my email list of 2,500 3,500 4,500 5,500 subscribers, who all receive a rather lovely Google Sheets and Data Studio email a couple of times a month (join the tribe!).


Chimp Essentials course

Do you know how to set up hidden merge fields correctly? Or how to authenticate your own email address inside of MailChimp? I’d been using MailChimp for around 2 years but knew I wasn’t using it to its full potential. This course changed all that for me, and helped me set up my data tagging properly, improve my on-boarding experience and create better post-purchase funnels.


Supermetrics

Supermetrics makes it super easy to connect external web services to my Google Sheets or Data Studio projects, and bring previously siloed data together. (Use BENC_DISCOUNT_5 to get a 5% discount.)


Tiller

Tiller is an indispensable financial tool, which connects my bank accounts and credit cards to my Google Sheets and automatically imports that data. This allows me to analyze and visualize my financial data directly in a Google Sheet, where I have full control over what it looks like. I’ve written more about Tiller here.


Screenflow

This is my go-to for recording screencasts. I love it. I tried Camtasia, but I could never get my spreadsheets to look pin-sharp on the videos. Tried a few other (free) ones as well, but Screenflow was head and shoulders above the rest for me.


Handbrake

The videos I export out of Screenflow are generally huge, so I use Handbrake, which is free, to compress the file sizes. It generally cuts the size up to half, which optimizes the videos for the web and speeds up uploading/downloading times.


LiceCap

Despite the strange name, this great little piece of software is responsible for most of the animated GIFs on this site. It’s a sinch to use and free.


Snagit

If you need to show a lot of screenshots, especially if you want to annotate them, then you’d be mad not to use Snagit. It dramatically sped up my workflow when I started using it, and it’s one of the few programs that is almost always open on my laptop.


Sublime Text

I use Sublime Text as my text editor of choice for writing code and markup. Developers can be aggressive and defensive over which text editor they use, but for me this was the first one recommended to me and I’ve stuck with it. It works perfectly for me, primarily for working on Apps Script projects.


Toggl

Toggle tracks my hours for me, so I can see how long projects take me and bill clients correctly (although I value price contracts now, rather than by time).


Zapier

I stupidly held off from using Zapier for a long time, not wanting to pay for another service. Instead I was doing things manually, making mistakes, or not doing them at all. All of which was dumb. So now Zapier takes care of repetitive tasks for me, like sending people who have purchased a course correctly into MailChimp so they receive a nice welcome email from me.


Note: some of these links are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from the vendor if you decide to buy after clicking one of my links. The price you pay does NOT change.