The term NFT has infiltrated the deepest corners of the Web to such an extent that virtually everyone has heard of it. It’s a very rapidly growing industry and still in its early stages. If you want to position yourself in this market before it gets overcrowded, you need to know how to make and sell your own NFTs. This article walks you through your first steps.
- What Is an NFT and Why Are They so Hyped?
- How to Make Your Own NFT
- 1. Draft Your Digital Art
- 2. Choose a Blockchain
- Best Blockchains to Mint NFTs
- 3. Set Up and Fuel Your Crypto Wallet
- 4. Create an Account on a Marketplace
- Best NFT Marketplaces
- 5. Mint and List Your First NFT
- Why Is It so Expensive to Create an NFT?
- Is Making NFTs a Game for the Rich?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is an NFT and Why Are They so Hyped?
NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” You can think of an NFT as a non-circulating crypto token that is completely unique and one of a kind. An NFT can be almost anything you can think of: a Tweet, a music album, or even the world’s first digital perfume.
As a beginner, it can be hard to grasp why something so basic and otherwise worthless can be valued at sky-high prices. For starters, it’s a piece of art. Questioning why an NFT costs so much is like asking why the Mona Lisa is worth its current value. The second reason is that buying an NFT gives you sole ownership of it, like owning a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. Even though anyone can download it, the ownership of that artwork will always belong to you, all thanks to blockchain technology.
Another driving factor is future price projections. For example, the CryptoTruck #48 NFT that looks like a toddler’s drawing is worth over $5 million. As strange as it may sound, some people may be willing to pay that.
However, apart from the future value projections, other factors like underlying value, ownership history, perception of the buyer, the popularity of the creator, and the basic concept of supply and demand also drive up the prices of some NFTs.
To make it all even more interesting, NFTs can be programmed to automatically transfer a percentage of money to the NFT creator’s account for every resale. It alone makes NFT a game-changer for artists, as they can keep making passive income off of their art forever.
How to Make Your Own NFT
Now that we know what an NFT is and why it’s valuable, let’s look at what you can convert into an NFT. Basically, just about any digital file can be converted. You can be at home writing a banging song and turn it into an NFT. You can also make your grandma’s delicious recipe a TXT file and upload it on the marketplace.
In this article, we focus on creating, uploading, and selling digital art. You can follow the same steps for all kinds of content you want to turn into an NFT.
Here’s how to get started with your first NFT.
1. Draft Your Digital Art
When creating digital art, you don’t have to follow any strict rules, as there is no singular technique to create one, and you can be as creative as you want.
You can use software like Photoshop, Affinity Pro, Corel Painter, etc., to draft your digital art. However, if you want a professionally-crafted piece, you can hire freelancers online to do it for you.
2. Choose a Blockchain
Once you’ve decided which digital artwork you’re going to use, the next step is to start the process of minting it into an NFT. Minting is the process of converting a digital file into a crypto collectible or digital asset stored on the blockchain. Choosing an appropriate blockchain is perhaps the most crucial step, as it affects the cost of minting an NFT and the security of your NFT.
Not only that, but different wallets have different compatibility with blockchains, so if you mint your NFT on a less popular blockchain, you may not be able to transfer it to your digital wallet. There are quite a few factors you need to keep in mind before selecting a blockchain for your NFT. Let’s take a look at the most important ones.
Possibility of Forking
In simple words, forking is defined as the blockchain splitting into two paths. It happens when a blockchain community changes its protocol or rules, and a new branch is created in a different direction. So if your preferred blockchain hits a hard fork, your NFTs in the old branch may end up losing their value. We recommend going for a fork-proof blockchain to keep the sanctity of your NFTs intact.
Smart contracts are a set of protocols in a blockchain that simplify and speed up the trading process. Ideally, you should opt for a blockchain with robust smart contracts written in bug-free, secure, and clean code. It will improve the overall experience, security, and protection against potential breaches, hacks, and downtimes.
Every time you sell an NFT, you’ll have to pay a small transaction fee to the host blockchain. The cost depends on the blockchain you use, as all of them have a different fee structure. For example, if you sell your NFT hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, you will incur a gas fee to complete the transaction.
This fee can also vary depending on the rate of the gas fee at the time of selling. You wouldn’t want to choose a blockchain that charges you a $100 for an NFT that you’re selling for $50, so you need to make sure that your NFT project is compatible with the transaction fee of the blockchain you select.
Transaction Speed & Security
Faster transaction speed means that the attackers will have less time to compromise your data while you’re finalizing your sales. However, many blockchains are criticized for giving up security in favor of speed. If a blockchain offers fast transactions while upholding a decentralized nature, you have found an ideal blockchain to build your NFTs.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that you should also choose a blockchain based on the type of crypto tokens owned by your target audience, as they will be swapping them for your NFT.
Best Blockchains to Mint NFTs
Ethereum is the most popular blockchain due to its simplicity and user-friendliness. You will find an abundance of mainstream NFT marketplaces – OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, and more – based on the Ethereum network.
However, to validate any transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, you’ll have to pay a hefty sum known as gas fees. For this reason, creating NFTs on Ethereum is often the most expensive.
You can use Polygon to mint your NFTs on one of the biggest marketplaces, OpenSea. Polygon is unique, as you can mint your NFTs for free without paying any money upfront.
The platform implies lazy minting as the default method, meaning the person buying your NFT will have to pay the charges to get it minted and will charge you 2.5% of every transaction you make on the network.
If you’re concerned about the effects of blockchains on the environment, Tezos can be exactly what you’re looking for, as it has been proven to be 200,000 times less energy-consuming than its alternatives and leaves less carbon footprint overall.
Other than that, minting NFTs on Tezos is faster, cheaper, and highly efficient compared to Ethereum, making it an excellent blockchain for mining NFTs – even for beginners.
3. Set Up and Fuel Your Crypto Wallet
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to pay a small amount of tokens as transactional expenses to sell your NFTs. To do that, you’ll need to set up a wallet that supports your preferred blockchain.
Moreover, in the NFT world, your wallet address is your identity. Use it to create an account on marketplaces and other decentralized apps.
The following are some of the best crypto wallets out there.
Coinbase is a big name in the cryptocurrency exchange industry, and they have come up with their own wallet, which is an excellent platform to start. It gives you complete control of your wallet, and you can use it to store and view all of your NFTs in a secure location. Moreover, it supports over 4,000 tokens, and you can explore countless decentralized apps with it.
MetaMask has over 21 million users worldwide, making it one of the most popular wallets online. It is easy to use, and you won’t require the help of an external app to buy coins. It is a secure network that lets you easily connect to all of the major NFT marketplaces. You can download the Metamask wallet as a browser extension or its mobile app for iOS and Android.
Rainbow is a fairly new wallet and focuses primarily on the Ethereum blockchain. Even though you won’t be able to store tokens like Bitcoin, Flow, etc., you’ll still be able to sell your NFTs using Ethereum, which is one of the most popular blockchains for trading NFTs. The wallet has an excellent UI, making it great for navigating through all of your digital assets.
The next step is to purchase some coins to pay the fee for converting your content into an NFT. If you’re using MetaMask or a Rainbow wallet, you can easily get your hands on some tokens from within your wallet. However, if you decide to use Coinbase, you’ll have to use an external exchange platform to purchase some crypto and transfer them to your wallet.
4. Create an Account on a Marketplace
Once you’ve completed all the previous steps, it’s time to choose a marketplace to showcase all your work. There are a few aspects to consider beforehand:
- The platform should be available on all devices for easy access.
- It should support different wallets and payment options for an effortless transaction.
- The marketplace should support token fractionalization.
- It should have a strong verification process to protect all your assets.
- Optionally, it should provide some user incentives.
For this tutorial, we are using Rarible, as it’s very easy to use and set up.
- Go to the official Rarible website and click on “Sign in” to connect your wallet.
- Rarible supports three blockchains, namely Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow. Each of these options has its own wallet, so you can choose the one that suits you.
- The next step is more or less the same for all wallets. Clicking on any of the wallets will bring up a QR code on your screen. You can scan from your wallet app to connect your wallet with Rarible.
- Rarible supports tons of crypto wallets and establishes a secured connection with them. Once your wallet has been successfully linked, Rarible will automatically generate an account for you. Now you can mint and sell your first NFT.
If you’re not yet sure which marketplaces to choose, below you’ll find some worthy options to take into consideration.
Best NFT Marketplaces
OpenSea is one of the oldest marketplaces, established back in 2017. It showcases a huge library worth of content with a wide range of price selections. Apart from just digital art, you can find all kinds of NFTs in the OpenSea marketplace, such as 3D collectibles, video game items, memes, and more.
- Supported Blockchains: Ethereum, Polygon, Klatyn
- Platform Charges: Minting NFT is free, but you’ll have to pay 2.5% of every transaction.
SuperRare focuses primarily on digital art and features an admirable collection of NFTs from all kinds of artists. Browsing this marketplace feels like a walkthrough in a premium art gallery, mainly because new creators are accepted only via an application. It makes sure that you only get the best results possible in your feed. However, it can be a hurdle for artists new to NFTs to get in.
- Supported blockchains: Ethereum
- Platform Charges: SuperRare charges 15% commission as minting fees.
Unlike SuperRare, Zora is a marketplace that features all kinds of NFTs, like audio files, images, videos, and even texts. If you’re a digital artist, you’ll still find plenty of options with Zora. Moreover, it is very gas-efficient. In other words, you won’t have to pay a ton of money to mint your NFTs, giving you a scope to earn without investing much.
- Supported Blockchains: Ethereum
- Platform Charges: Zora does not charge any listing fee or commission but takes gas fees for minting NFTs.
4. Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway is the one-stop destination if you’re searching for premium digital collectibles. It collaborates with high-profile artists to deliver the topmost experience to all its users. Moreover, it is the only marketplace on our list that supports credit cards. However, the art pieces on this website are pretty expensive, and new artists can only join via applications.
- Supported Blockchains: Ethereum
- Platform Charges: The platform charges 5% of the sales price and 30 cents extra for the transaction cost.
Rarible, as mentioned earlier, is a highly accessible platform for beginners, as you don’t have to be invited to the marketplace. Instead, you can start selling your NFTs right from the get-go as soon as you connect your wallet. This openness means that the marketplace is filled with all kinds of content within a wide price spectrum.
- Supported Blockchains: Ethereum, Tezos, Flow
- Platform Charges: 2.5% commission per NFT sold
5. Mint and List Your First NFT
Now that we have created digital art, chosen a blockchain, bought some crypto in our wallet, and connected it to a marketplace, all that’s left is to mint it. We are using Rarible again as an example.
- Log in to Rarible and click on “Create.”
- Sign in using your wallet and choose a blockchain to mint your NFT.
- Choose how many collectibles you want to upload.
- Upload your digital file to the marketplace.
- Set a price for your art.
- Fill out your NFT details and click on “Create Item.”
- You will receive a signature request on your mobile wallet asking for authorization. Click on “Sign.”
- Congratulations, you have successfully created your first NFT.
If you want, you can also remove your NFT from the sale. It will be stored securely in your wallet.
Why Is It so Expensive to Create an NFT?
During minting, the blockchain turns your collectible into an encrypted code that allows personalized ownership. In return for tokenizing your art and storing it in the blockchain, you need to pay some overhead charges to the blockchain.
The value of this transaction fee depends on the blockchain you’re using to mint your NFTs, and the rates can vary vastly. The following are some costs associated with minting NFTs.
- Gas Fees: minting an NFT takes a lot of computational power across many servers. The electricity spent on processing and validating transactions costs a lot, so creators have to pay some gas fees that depend on the blockchain and the cost of the token itself.
- Listing Fees: some marketplaces ask for a small amount to be paid to list your work on their website. Even though some platforms don’t ask for minting fees, almost always, you’re supposed to pay the listing fee upfront or at the time of sale.
- Account Fees: Some marketplaces charge you for enlisting an account on their platform, and the amount varies from marketplace to marketplace.
Is Making NFTs a Game for the Rich?
The costs mentioned above are some standard charges you’ll have to pay to mint your NFTs. When combined, it can be an expensive deal. There are ways to avoid these charges as well. To understand that better, let’s break down the process of minting NFTs into two parts: Regular minting and Lazy minting.
When you go onto a marketplace to sell your NFTs, you’ll have to pay anywhere from $1 to $500, depending on the platform, the price of your blockchain token, and many other factors.
In almost all cases, you’re required to pay gas, account, and listing fees upfront, and it can quickly rack up your expenses. It is called regular minting, and you’ll have to be mindful of the money you’re paying, or you won’t have room to earn profits from selling your work.
However, it’s not the norm by any means, as there are ways you can mint your NFTs for free as well, and that’s where lazy minting comes in.
If you don’t have enough money to start but still want to sell your digital art, you can opt for lazy minting instead. In this method, you upload your NFTs off the blockchain, and if a potential buyer is interested in your artwork, they’ll have to pay all the charges to get your NFT minted. By no means does it make the minting process free, as the fees are still being paid – just not by you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are NFTs a safe investment?
The whole idea of NFTs is still in its infancy and has a lot of hype surrounding it. However, this does not make it an entirely safe investment option, as most of the valuation part of this industry is based on the public’s emotions, which can easily change. Moreover, it has a very inconsistent market, as there is no way to tell that a valuable NFT will maintain its value down the line.
2. How long does it take to sell an NFT?
Even though it does not take long to list your NFTs on a marketplace, there is no way to tell how long it will be before they are sold. It depends on the market strategy you’ve applied, the value of your art piece, the state of the market, and many other factors that keep changing.
3. How much money can I make on the resale of my NFTs?
You can program your NFT to get a kickback royalty every time it is resold. The amount of this royalty depends on the selling price, and it’s generally 5% to 10%, depending on the marketplace’s limits.
Image Credits: Pixabay
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