Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, videos, and other visual content. Users can choose from many pre-designed templates, edit the designs, or upload their own photos. The free version of Canva is unmatched by any other graphic design sites out there. You can even upload your own fonts to make sure your branding is cohesive!
While you might have heard of Hootsuite or Later App, in my opinion, Buffer is an amazing alternative. Buffer is a software application for the web and mobile, designed to manage accounts in social networks. It allows you to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. The free plan allows you to link up to three platforms and schedule 10 social media posts per platform, per month.
For those who have a community online, merchandise might be a viable source of income! Spring, formerly known as Teespring, is an e-commerce platform that allows you to create and sell custom apparel. You can either buy the merch and handle your own fulfillment, or let Spring handle it all for free! You choose the selling price and profit for all products, so there’s no hidden fees or charges to worry about. Each storefront can be branded how you want, feature new designs on the homepage, and offer promotional codes to your community!
Chances are if you’re reading this, then you already know about Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), but it’s still an important and free tool for creators. Regardless if you use it for streaming or recording videos, OBS is an amazing software program that can be customized to work for you. Users can set up an unlimited number of scenes, have multiple source captures, and add plugins that allow for even more customization.
Most Twitch streamers struggle to have consistent outflow of content. Whether it's because of inexperience or lack of time, Kamua makes it incredibly easy to recycle content. Kamua is a browser-based tool that automates video editing. While videos are watermarked, it's worth it for the $0 price tag. Kamua will automatically crop videos and add captions. For YouTubers, this is a great tool to help convert widescreen videos to a format that works for TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Stories, or Reels.
This is another online tool for video editing. StreamLadder makes promoting Twitch channels incredibly easy. By uploading Twitch clips, users can format their face cam and gameplay how they want to create 9:16 ratio videos to use on social media platforms. What makes this even better is that the free version doesn’t watermark your videos, so you can have custom branded content to help grow your community.
As technology grows, so does the competition. This means streamers need to make themselves stand out from the crowd. For those who don’t use webcams to show themselves, Kappamon is a fantastic way to do just that. Kappamons are pets for your livestream that automatically greet users, have custom commands, and interact with your chat. It almost feels like a Pokémon game as you can collect various pets and even find special mutations!
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If you don’t want to mess around with plugins for OBS or learn how to use Adobe After Effects, then Live Curtain is for you. Live Curtain is a free text banner and countdown tool that can easily be added to video software. It can be used for meeting welcome screens, stream countdowns, or any other message you want to convey! Plus, it’s not just for OBS, it can be used in Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
While there are other free video editing sites included on this list, Kapwing is more than just one tool. Not only does it have a full video editing studio, but there’s also a meme generator, green screen video editor, montage maker, and so much more! This is a great site to check out if you have a random need to remove or add audio, convert a video to a GIF, or trim down a sound effect audio file.
Surprisingly, the surge of streamers hasn’t encouraged developers to create Twitch integrated games. Stream Raiders is a unique way to engage with an audience. Streamers take the role of captains while viewers make up the army in battle against various enemies and bosses. It’s free for both viewers and streamers, and doesn’t take up a lot of stream time, since battles are only active for 1-3 minutes at a time.
Any streamer on Twitch has probably seen CommanderRoot pop up in their viewer list. While you may know it as a bot account, it actually is so much more than that (in a good way, I promise)! CommanderRoot is actually a Twitch Partner who creates useful Twitch Tools for streamers. Seriously, there are some powerful tools including a full follower/subscriber list, the ability to ban users, a filter to block extensions that could grab your IP address, and so much more.
Meet Athena, a video-editing goddess who happens to be an AI. Athenascope is a unique (and sci-fi adjacent) tool that analyzes gameplay to capture top gaming moments and then converts them into edited video clips. Take the hassle out of hunting down old stream footage and just let an AI handle it!
If you were to ask a content creator of 2021 what their biggest concern was, the answer would be DMCA. Standing for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, anyone who makes content online suffers from the consequences of copyrighted audio. Pretzel Rocks is a library of free to use, DMCA-safe music, so you don’t have to worry about content ID strikes or lawsuits. There’s no need to download anything, simply open up a browser and choose from a music catalog of nearly any genre of music. Seriously, they have every genre from electro-swing to metal to meditation.
One of the best streamer tools out there is a Stream Deck, however, not everyone has the money to buy one. Touch Portal makes it accessible to anyone with a PC or Mac and smartphone. This is a macro remote control that integrates with every tool a streamer or YouTuber could need. Control your smart lights, stream, music, and Discord all in one spot. Set up multi step action buttons for when you’re starting a stream, or connect it with Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro to speed up your process.
As someone who needs a flowchart to function, Trello is a project management tool every creator should be using. If you want to become a full-time streamer or YouTuber, you need a way to organize yourself, others, and your ideas. Trello can be used to plan out video production, centralize to-do lists, brand maintenance, or anything else you need help organizing. It also integrates with other programs to help keep everything connected!
Consider StreamElements a one-stop shop for streamers. Connect your Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, or Trovo account and gain access to a multitude of tools to keep your stream safe and engaging. The StreamElements chatbot lets you create custom commands, spam protection, and viewer loyalty systems. Save your computer and OBS from overclocking by using StreamElements to put all your scenes into one browser overlay!
If you’re looking for a way to be more inclusive (and just a generally decent) streamer, this is an extension I highly recommend. It’s easy to use and set-up! This extension enables viewers to share their pronouns on Twitch, so others know how to properly address them. Currently, it’s only available for Google Chrome and Firefox, but it’s a step in a great direction to help your community of viewers feel welcomed and included!
One tool that all YouTubers should get is TubeBuddy, a free browser extension and app that integrates directly into YouTube. TubeBuddy helps creators optimize their content and grow their channels. It has advanced keyword research, speeds up publishing time with savable tag lists, and even A/B testing for thumbnails!
If you’re an on-the-go type of person, VDO.Ninja is for you. This tool enables live video to be shared from a smartphone, tablet, or remote computer directly into OBS Studio or other browser-enabled software. It doesn’t require any sign-in or download and won’t collect any personal data. VDO.Ninja just wants to make it easier for you to make the content you want!
When troubleshooting OBS or streaming issues, being able to test your live stream is imperative. However, it's annoying to have to start up a Twitch stream over and over again, risking new viewers seeing your struggle. Twitch Inspector is an online tool to help diagnose issues with a Twitch broadcast. Save yourself time by using Twitch Inspector to figure out where things are going awry!
While this browser extension is more for the viewer rather than streamer, BetterTTV does add better functionality to Twitch’s chat. Features include extra emotes, username or word highlighting, anonymous chat, and various settings to make chat easier to read. For streamers, Better Twitch TV allows for channel emotes, so your viewers can have more than the limited Twitch amount. It’s available for all major internet browsers, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.
Although Mailchimp has an all-in-one marketing platform, they do have a free to use email marketing dashboard. While this might not be a useful tool for all content creators, it can help service specific audience niches. Monthly email newsletters can help creators stay in content with an audience that might not be able to constantly be available for livestreams. Mailchimp’s email platform is very easy to use and is free for up to 2,000 contacts, which for many starting out is doable.
For video creators, sometimes there’s a lot of information you need to convey or memorize. Save yourself (and the planet) from printing out pages of scripts and instead try out Teleprompter Mirror’s online Teleprompter!
Simply paste text or import a TXT file, choose your preferred settings, and hit play. This simple change to your recording process can improve video quality. Plus, they have a voice activated teleprompter which listens to your voice and scrolls automatically.
Check out this video to discover more features:
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One of the biggest competitors to Adobe for video editing software is DaVinci Resolve. With tools just as robust as Premiere Pro, this is the perfect alternative that’s completely free. The newest edition has redesigned controls, AI based magic mask, HDR grading tools, and over 100 new features! If you’re new to video production, Blackmagic Design also has lessons and training videos to learn how to use the program and editing processes.
Google Workspace isn’t just for businesses anymore. Users can utilize Google’s tools no matter what they need it for, which is why I highly recommend using Google Calendar to create a content calendar. In case you don’t know, a content calendar is exactly as it sounds. It’s a calendar that reflects a schedule of content to be published. Create as many calendars as you need to keep organized, such as separating YouTube videos from blog posts or social media posts. Not only does it make you organized, but it holds you accountable for your goals.
Another Google product? Yes! If you’re ever curious about Google search trends, this is where you should look first. While you can’t explore keywords thoroughly, you can compare topics against one another to see which would be the better option to create content for. It’s a great tool to spark ideas to then dive deeper into!
Keyword search rankings and search engine optimization aren’t just for digital marketers. Content creators can use tools like Answer The Public to figure out how to word their titles, descriptions, or even what topics to create content for. Answer The Public is a searchable database for keywords. It’s especially helpful if you want to know what questions are being searched online the most.
In the panic of DMCA strikes across video platforms, many forget that YouTube has their own royalty free Audio Library! With over 150,000 audio tracks, video creators can download, remix, and use it completely for free. It doesn’t just have music tracks, YouTube also provides sound effects as well!
A downside to expanding your reach online? Links to all those platforms. Bitly helps shorten URL links, so users are more inclined to click them! You can customize each link and keep track of clicks if you sign up for a free account. It’s especially helpful for YouTube descriptions or Twitch chat links, and you can even categorize links with tags, so you can find them easily at a later date!