My Preferred Platforms and Tools (FI2W)

From Ideas to Web

Before we start talking about how to get your ideas out into the world, we first need to go over some of the potential platforms and tools you can use to publish your content. I’ll give you my recommendations on everything from web hosting to video editing below! In another article, I’ll give some tips on eBooks and paperbacks.

Website Hosting

For the past several years, I have used SiteGround web hosting. I host six different websites under the same hosting plan for about $400 a year including domain names, themes, and other plugins, but the options for single-websites are a lot cheaper. I’ve had zero complaints with their customer service, so I recommend them to anyone I can. As far as I can recall, I’ve never had any downtime on any of my sites that I noticed.

I consider helping people with web design part of my ministry. I have hundreds of hours of experience with SiteGround and WordPress, so if you need my help, you can always contact me through my Ministry Services page. If you use my link to sign up for SiteGround, then I get a short period of free hosting: https://www.siteground.com/recommended?referrer_id=7588679.

Podcasting

My preferred Podcasting tool is Podbean. I find the integration with different apps and services convenient. For example, while YouTube only allows a certain number of uploads, Podbean will generate a downloadable video for platforms like YouTube. You can see some of those on my YouTube page: https://youtube.com/c/danielrogers. While I haven’t used the feature, you can also record and publish episodes from their mobile app! Podbean also lets you create a webpage to display your posts. If you want a preview, you can see mine: https://danielrogers.podbean.com.

If you’re interested in using Podbean and would like a free month of podcasting, then you can use my affiliate link. It gives me a free month as well: https://www.podbean.com/danielrogers!

To record all of my podcasts, I use a free program called audacity. I have two microphones to record all of my audio and video. For my desktop, I have a Blue Yeti USB Mic, and for my MacBook I use a Blue Yeti Nano USB Mic. I’ve used Blue microphones for years, and, for what I do, they work perfectly!

If you need help or have any questions, check out my Ministry Services page.

Live-streaming

I have live-streamed to three platforms: Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. I started streaming video games on Twitch in 2014 when I first built my PC, but I haven’t done that in some time. For eight years I have used the same broadcasting software called OBS. For Windows, everything works out of the box, but on Mac, if you want to capture desktop audio, you’ll need third party software called BlackHole.

After streaming video games for fun, I began streaming Bible study videos on YouTube and eventually Facebook.

I use a Logitech Brio for my camera. It comes with a wide range of options with Logitech Capture Software. Logitech Capture Software works as a virtual camera so that you can display your video feed on Zoom and on OBS without losing the video on either platform. For my microphones, I just use what is listed under the Podcasting section. I also use studio lighting and occasionally a green screen to enhance the quality of my streams.

Nowadays, the church uses a streaming service called Boxcast to simultaneously stream to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

I have helped several churches start live-streaming their services over the last six years. I have also given lessons to individuals as well. If you need any help at all, check out my Ministry Services page.

Blogging

For blogging I exclusively use WordPress through my SiteGround account. While it has its problems, I’ve always been able to do what I want to do on the platform. If I ever have a question or hangup, I can typically figure it out after a little bit of troubleshooting and Google-fu.

WordPress has many plugins and themes to choose from to make your site whatever you want it to be. It also integrates well with social media and other platforms such as MailChimp to help you increase your reach through your website.

Through the WooCommerce plugin, you can even setup your own online store with everything from shipped items to free downloadable digital items. I even use one plugin to do a “pay what you want” system for people who might need the product for free but also for those who might want to pitch in a dollar or two.

Videos

For all of my video editing on my desktop, I use HitFilm Express. If I could justify the purchase I might look into something else, but this works for what I need to do, especially at the cost: $0.00.

It can create videos in all different kinds of formats and resolutions. It’s fairly straightforward, but there are hundreds of tutorials and forums online to help you on your way. One time I was wanting to do this cool effect that I couldn’t figure out, and someone online created it for me as a template and sent the file over. He even created a YouTube video to show me how to do it myself. So, the people in the community are extremely helpful.

Of course, I publish everything to either YouTube or Facebook. But there are other options available if you’d rather go somewhere else!

If You Need Me…

As I’ve mentioned several times, I can help you out in any of these areas. You can contact me through Ministry Services if you just can’t figure something out. Next week’s post will be gear more towards the creative process, but hopefully this will help some of you out!

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