For context, I make websites, I make products like courses and ebooks, I record my voice for various tutorials, I sell services and I live abroad – traveling and what not. To do this you need the right equipment to be successful.
*My 10 day trip to China (on my personal channel)
My brand of choice is ASUS. I despise MSI (worst laptop I’ve ever owned). I’ve never owned a Mac but my sister is a graphics designer and swears by any Apple product (fyi). I get asked for recommendations on what laptop you should get. While this is always changing, here is my experience from owning various laptops, traveling and living abroad.
I’ve had big 17 inch laptops and I’ve had smaller 13 inch laptops. 15 inch is the best size in my opinion. A 17 inch is a big machine, when I first went to Thailand I had this sort of laptop and I hated carrying it. Not only because it was big and heavy, but also because it was also unruly on a table at a cafe. The point of a laptop is mobility, a 17 inch machine has the power, but you won’t want to take it anywhere with you.
Then we have the opposite. While a 13 inch is a tech marvel, and can pack a lot of power into a small frame – I find the lack of screen space too annoying for the work I do (writing, course creation, video editing) to be useful.
This is why I always go with a 15 inch. It’s the right balance of power and weight. Make sure you get something with a dedicated graphics card and 8 gb of ram (minimum) if you’re going to be video editing.
Simply get the best machine you can afford with these things. In terms of weight, well that depends. My current laptop is 4 lbs. Fine for me, a 168 lb man. Lighter is better, I would say 5 lbs max.
When I started doing tutorials, I needed a good mic. I started off by looking at what podcasters were suggesting. Idiots. They all suggested getting the Blue Yetti. This microphone is HUGE. It really lives up to it’s name 🙂
You will NOT be traveling anywhere with such a beast of a microphone (see what I did there?).
I instead randomly came across an H2N microphone in a music store and fell in love with the quality, size and form factor. This thing is tiny, provides high quality audio and has a ton of different options and is a perfect companion to take with you while traveling.
I currently have 10 inch Samsung tablet with a built in stylus. I use my tablet as a notebook and a reading device. I suggest you get a 10 inch tablet because a 10 inch can play videos back at 1080p while an 8 inch tablet you’re stuck at 720p. It’s also important having a stylus because you can use your tablet as a sort of journal.
You journal? Yep, journaling is simply jotting down ideas, drawing diagrams and giving clarity to your thoughts. You can do this with a stylus as it gives a feel of being a notebook. I also use it as a reading device and it’s wonderful. It’s basically a high tech notebook.
I LOVE this camera for vlogging or any sort of talking head video. While you can get a more expensive setup, I find the G7x to be the perfect balance of size and quality; particularly if you’re just starting out. It’s what I currently use for my videos and it’s great. It can fit in my pocket, has a flip up screen, acceptable audio and it’s a reasonable price. Before this, I had a camcorder I bought way back in 2010. Terrible decision as a camcorder is big, bulky and has poor audio. The G7X is the perfect vlogging camera.
Nothing more annoying than not being able to plug in and charge your gear, make sure you have a portable charger that can fit different outlets. I picked up the world adapter from Targus. It basically has you cover in any country!
I’ve owned over the ear noise cancelling headphones and I’ve owned Sensenhauser headphones too. So my favorite has been “on the ear” headphones by Marshall. They have a great classic style, not nerdy or hip hopy like a lot of brands. They also sound great and do an excellent job of blocking out sound, so much so I have no need for my noise cancelling headphones.
My software of choice for screen capturing. This program is simple, affordable and does it’s job well. No need to get some expensive software. Snag It is fine if you’re looking to record your screen and use your high quality mic to record audio at the same time without all the bells and whistles.
Adobe Premier Pro costs a monthly fee. It’s amazing software and the best on the market BUT it’s overkill for most people, myself included. You should work your way up to Adobe Premier in my opinion, learning how to actually edit videos with ever increasing complexity. I started with free software and my skill has gotten to the point where I can get a lot out of a program like Movie Studio which is what I use now. Movie Studio Platinum 14.
Now, I know on many review sites this program as a 3 star rating while other programs have 5 stars. But I really like it. It has a ton of built in effects, transitions, filters and titles. All of which actually look professional and not corny like other video editing programs. If you’re looking for a good quality editor that will allow you to grow your video editing skills, check out Movie Studio.
A good idea is to download a bunch of video editors as all of them offer a free trial. This is what I did, and I still prefer Movie Studio over Cyberlink Power Director or Corel Video Studio. The only drawback is that the rendering times are a bit slow. Not a huge deal, I just render a video and go do something else.
Free program to record and edit audio. Simple! Plenty of free tutorials on YouTube to show you how to get the most out of it.
Best program to create downloadable ebooks and PDF’s with + it’s cheap! This program allows you to organize any document into sections and chapters. Allowing you to open 1 section and work on it and save it. Of course there is a learning curve, but hey it’s not that complicated and it allows you to start creating books.
Market Samurai helps me do research for potential content I want to create for websites. I have a website on supplements, teaching abroad, and this site – edgeofdavid.com. Market Samurai simply helps you with content analysis and competitive research so I know what content I can create that can actually rank and get traffic.
This is software that helps you with outreach on various social media platforms. Apart from creating content on topics that have low to moderate competition, outreach is the way you grow your traffic.
There are two types, the first is email outreach. That’s where you build a relationship with other website owners and eventually leverage some of those relationships into link opportunities either as a guest blog post, a guest video on a popular YouTube channel
The second type is on social media. That is where BuzzBundle comes in. It currates all your mentions on blogs, forums and various social media platforms. It also allows you to find where conversations are happening about the kind of content you’re creating. Allowing you to jump in and provide value and grow your audience.