Tools and Media Directory
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Stock photos and Videos that you can use on your videos and websites. They come with various copyright licenses.
Add some tunes to your content and set the mood for your viewers. Great selection of genres.
Tools and Apps that will make managing websites and social media easier for you.
Editing software options for Photos, Videos, and Sound files. All the right tools for editing your media for the web.
Hosting websites and registering domains. These sources are great places to find your host solution.
Other resources that didn't fit anywhere else end up right here. Check them out.
Stock Photo and Video Sources
Sometimes you need a good photo in a pinch, but don't have the ways or means to produce it. Other times you'd like some nice B-roll, but don't want to film it for yourself. This is when stock photos and videos come in handy.
Stock media comes in a variety of ways with multiple licensing options. Some require a fee, some are free, and some may require attribution to the creator. Be careful to look on each individual site to see what the terms of the media are.
Below you'll find a nice listing of sources with a description of what the site offers. Some are pay sites and some are free. Please keep in mind that sites with a (*) next to it are affiliate links that I receive commission on sales. Despite this, I only promote sites I trust and would use myself. In fact, I've personally used many of these options in the designing of this exact web page. Like I said, I wouldn't suggest something I wouldn't use.
- VideoBlocks by StoryBlocks - The VideoBlocks catalog claims to feature over 10 Million dollars of content at your disposal. You pay a flat fee yearly and are able to access content from their catalog.
- ShutterStock - ShutterStock features over 150 million royalty free photos with more being added daily. This site allows you to pay for individual images and use them without paying additional royalties to the creator.
- Adobe Stock - Adobe, the creators of Photoshop and Premiere Pro have a stock photo and video website as well. Signing up on this site allows you to pick a plan that allows a certain number of photos on a monthly basis.
- 123RF.com* - 123 Royalty Free is just that, a site that allows you to purchase credits that you can use to buy photos for use on your projects. The site claims to have over 86 Million pieces of content to choose from.
- iStock Photo - iStock Photo is similar to the rest, this site is run by Getty Images and offers more great high quality stock footage.
- Pixabay - Pixabay is awesome. Everything on there is free with Creative Commons 0 license and they also feature videos, vector graphics, illustrations, and videos. They also categorize their content well.
- Split Shire - Great photos and a huge selection. All free for use in commercial projects. Love it!
- Pexels - Pexels is my top pick of the list. Lots of images and videos to choose from, all copyright free. Use away.
- Unsplash - This is a basic site that features a lot of beautiful HD photos for use. Many different categories are on this site. It’s a go-to for many of my projects.
- Fancy Crave - I like Fancy Crave. It’s free just like the rest, but they also offer “Collections” you can download. One click will download a set of photos under a specific niche. Certainly, a great option.
- Stock Snap - Stock Snap is great as well. Professional quality photos all free of copyright issue. Easily searchable as well. This is a top-notch site.
- Public Domain Pictures - This site features a variety of pictures that are free. Keep in mind it does feature advertisements and photos that are not free however thousands on the site are free.
- Viintage - Yes, there are two I’s in the name. Viinatage is different from the rest because this site features vintage style vector graphics that are considered public domain. There is also a premium section, but there are thousands of free options available.
Royalty Free Music Sites
The right tunes can make a video so much better. Luckily you don't have to be the next big rock star in order to have great music for your videos. Also lucky for you, it doesn't require a small fortune either.
The sites below are a nice mix of paid and free sites. Many of the free websites require you to credit the creator in the description of your videos, but are otherwise free.
The upside to using a paid service is that you'll receive more options for different songs and the songs listed are also less likely to be overused in other videos. Because most people are looking for free music, many videos may contain the same exact tunes are yours.
- Pond5 - Pond5 offers thousands upon thousands of royalty free pieces of music. Prices vary based upon the creator and there are many different genres to choose from.
- ShutterStock - Despite being primarily photo and video, ShutterStock also boasts a wide array of music tracks to enjoy.
- AudioBlocks - This site features lots of different music under a yearly subscription plan. Well worth the look.
- YouTube Audio Library - Most people know about this, but I feel the need to include. Simple setup and completely free.
- Incompetech - This page offers an amazing amount of free music in various genres. A good place to get started, but sometimes the music is overused.
- Audionautix - Jason Shaw is the artist behind the tracks here. Free to use.
- Bensound - Bensound offers the option for free music or you can pay a small fee to bypass the credit requirement.
Great Tools for Content Creators
The tools on this list aren't all similar by any means. The one thing they all have in common is this: They all can be very beneficial to content creators.
Most of them are tools and apps I use on a regular basis. Many of them are free, but also offer paid options with extra features. Regardless, these tools can help you automate your process, manage your time more efficiently, or help you create better content.
If you are familiar with any good tools for social media that aren't on this list than I want to hear from you. Let me know what you use to be more productive, produce content faster, and analyze your data. The goal here is to create a comprehensive list of the best resources for you to enjoy. So share the word, hit the contact button on the top of the page to let me know of any I missed.
- TubeBuddy* - This browser plugin is great for anyone on YouTube. The tool can help you create thumbnails, select winning keywords, and so much more. Try the free version and upgrade later if you like.
- VidIQ - VidIQ is another great tool for YouTube. It gives great keyword suggestions and other features. Start free and work your way up as needed.
- HootSuite - This website is great for scheduling posts ahead of time on social media. I use it to make Tweets and Facebook posts in advance so I am not worrying about it later.
- Audacity - This sound editor is great for tweaking your audio. Think professional sound program at the best price: free.
- Any Video Converter - Convert video formats or even pull the sound from a video so you can enhance the audio. It's free and I love it.
- Buffer - Like Hootsuite, this site allows you to schedule Tweets, Posts, and Instagram pictures.
- Social Blade - This site gives you valuable information on many of your social networks. This is a great source to compare you with other pages similar to yours.
- Gramblr - This is a solution for posting to your Instagram account right from your desktop. I really like this program and highly suggest.
- Open Broadcasting Software - Great tool for screen capture on your desktop and it also will allow you to stream on YouTube Live
Editing Software Tools
So you've filmed the perfect footage. Now it's time to get that all put together into the perfect video. What about thumbnails? A good photo editor will do just the trick you need it to do.
There are many different options, styles, and formats for editing software. Some is geared towards beginners and may not have all of the options, but others are intended for professionals with a lot of power to edit like you're in Hollywood.
The collection of software below are programs that I have either used personally or have known creators to use in the past with success. I've personally used about 8 different movie editors over the past few years and I can say with some level of certainty that they're all pretty good. If you're not sure which one to choose from the list, don't hesitate to click the Contact link at the top of the page to ask me.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC* - I use Premiere Pro for my video editing needs. It's a staple in the editing industry and should be something you look at.
- Corel VideoStudio* - This program is easy to use and powerful. I've used it in the past and liked it. Many creators also use it with amazing results.
- Cyberlink PowerDirector* - Another great one that I've used. This is a common program and it's one that is worth a look as well.
- VEGAS Movie Maker* - Some love it, but personally I've never used. The format is a little different than others and I'm not a huge fan of it. To each his own I suppose.
- Filmora by Wondershare - This is an easy, user friendly program that people seem to really enjoy using in the YouTube field. I've never personally used it, but it comes highly recommended from others.
- DaVinci Resolve - DaVinci Resolve is an awesome program and it's completely free. That's right, completely free. The learning curve may be there for a new user because it's very professional, but very powerful.
- HitFilm Express - HitFilm Express is an amazing piece of software as well. Requires a good computer, but it sure is powerful.
- VSDC Free Video Editor - Personally I didn't like it. They say it's like Vegas Movie Studio, but it is free and an option for you.
- Lightworks - The free version is very limited and the learning curve is tough. However if you can get started on this program it is very powerful.
- ShotCut - A free and simple program. It is a little more limited, but should provide all of the tools to put together great videos for YouTube and Facebook.
- Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom* - Adobe is the prime place to find great software. Photoshop is the go-to in photo editing and vector editing. Certainly a great solution that I use myself.
- Paint Shop Pro* - Corel produces a great product to rival Photoshop. Paintshop Pro is a really nice program.
- Gimp - Gimp is the open source program that's been helping people edit for years. Free, similar to Photoshop, and powerful.
- DxO Labs Optics Pro* - This is a professional quality enhancement software. Needed for YouTube etc? Not really, but if you wanna enhance your photography it could certainly help.
- CyberLink PhotoDirector* - CyberLink makes good products. This is a very affordable alternative to Photoshop. A little easier learning curve for beginners.
- Photoscape - Very simple, yet surprisingly powerful. This editor is free.
- Photo Pos Pro - This is a free, simple software. It is a little limited compared to some of the paid options, but if you're on a budget it may be worth a look.
There are a lot of great resources that don't fit anywhere else on the page. For now, this section will be filled up with books that I have read in the past that I feel will be very helpful for you moving forward.
All of the links will take you to Amazon (yes, they are all affiliate links), but I'm sure you can find most of them at other retailer websites. Personally I like using Amazon for it because many of the titles are included in Kindle Unlimited.
If you'd like to give Kindle Unlimited a risk free trial for 30 days than Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial. If you cancel in 30 days there's no obligation to pay a dime for whatever you read that month. I am still a member and I get a lot of great business reads from there. Here's a list of the books I've read so far.
- Vlog Like a Boss by Amy Schmittauer - Amy has a popular YouTube channel and has really come into her own as a vlogger. The perky young lady really knows her stuff and you can learn a lot here, even if you're not a vlogger.
- Tube Ritual Volume 1 by Brian G Johnson - B to the G Johnson is a pretty cool guy that build a YouTube channel up in a jiffy. There are a lot of great tips in here regarding SEO and some great nuggets you won't wanna miss out on.
- Known by Mark Schaefer - This book shows you exactly how to become better known in your field. Although it's not directly geared towards social media, it hits home in a big way. Lots to learn from this one.
- Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon - Patrick Hanlon gives us a few great factors that contribute to a great brand. Afterall, you personal page IS your brand.