It’s been a wild couple of years for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and from the looks of things, the ride is only just getting started. Every day breaking news about celebrities, athletes, companies, brands, sports leagues, and even entire countries investing in NFTs and blockchain technology is being blasted across the internet.
And adding to the hype, digital artwork by NFT artists like Beeple and Pak has sold for tens of millions of dollars, sending shockwaves throughout the traditional art world and making headlines in major news outlets.
But NFTs aren’t just exploding in the realm of digital art and generative profile picture (PFP) NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and World of Women (WoW). The nascent technology is also touching music, fashion, collectibles, sports, and several other areas of arts and entertainment.
In 2022, the possibilities of what NFTs can represent and how they might shape our digital future are just beginning to be understood. And while all the uncertainty surrounding NFTs can be confusing, for creators who believe in the new technology, these are exciting times, to say the least.
Should you mint an NFT?
Minting work as NFTs and selling digital assets on the blockchain can have several benefits for creators, from increased sovereignty over your work to a lifetime of potential royalties from secondary sales enabled through smart contracts and blockchain technology.
If you’re an artist or creator who wants to learn more about the minting process, you’ve come to the right place. And luckily, you don’t need to be a coder or blockchain expert to mint your first NFT.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the basic steps involved in minting an NFT, including choosing a blockchain and NFT marketplace to mint your NFT, loading your crypto wallet, conceptualizing your NFT, and putting it up for sale.
There are no secrets when it comes to selling NFTs, at least not that we’re aware of. But there is a minting process and some steps to help you mint the best NFT possible and give yourself a chance to break into the new digital economy.
What is an NFT?
Before you mint your first non-fungible token (NFT) on the blockchain, it can be helpful to review NFT technology and how it can be used.
NFTs are unique, verifiable digital assets that are stored on blockchains like Ethereum, Tezos, Solana, and Binance. Unlike Bitcoin or the U.S. dollar, which are fungible assets that can be traded 1:1 and nothing is lost or gained, NFT are not mutually exchangeable.
You can think about NFTs more like a piece of artwork that hangs in a gallery or a collectible trading card than a currency that’s used for everyday exchanges.
Using cryptography and blockchain technology NFTs prove ownership and enable scarcity to be created with digital assets. Videos, artwork, memes, music, and even films can be “minted” as NFTs.
Here are some helpful terms to keep in mind when it comes to minting NFTs:
- Minting is the process of tokenizing a digital file with cryptography.
- Tokenization refers to transforming an asset into a digital token that can be traded, moved, stored, and tracked on the blockchain.
- The blockchain is a decentralized network of computers that verifies transactions and stores digital assets.
- Multiple blockchains support smart contracts and NFTs.
An NFT can be any type of digital file: They are not limited to one format or genre. Digital or crypto art and generative NFT projects were the most successful in the early years of NFTs, but now all sorts of NFT projects are popping up in different genres.
Some other popular types of NFTs include:
- Meme/gif art
- Films/TV series
- Live concerts/shows in the metaverse
If you’re an artist or creator of any kind and you have an interest in digitalizing your work, minting NFTs can be great to attract new audiences and learn about Web3, crypto, blockchain, and the metaverse.
There’s no guarantee you’ll be the next Beeple or Pak and make millions in ETH from your first NFT drop, but if you play your cards right, you can mint NFTs with minimal risks and learn about the NFT space at a time when it’s still in its embryonic stages.
What You Need to Mint an NFT
To mint your first NFT, you must familiarize yourself with a few technologies, including cryptocurrency, crypto wallets, and blockchains.
Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies secured by cryptography and stored on ledgers known as blockchains. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, but now there are thousands of alternative cryptos.
Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Tezos (TZ), and WAX are some of the most popular blockchains and cryptocurrencies for NFTs.
Blockchains are shared, immutable ledgers that record transactions and track assets on a particular network. Blockchain technology is critical to supporting fungible tokens like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Crypto wallets such as Metamask wallet, Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance, allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies, store them, and use them to make purchases, or perform functions on Web3 such as minting NFTs.
To mint an NFT you will need the following three things:
- Cryptocurrency to pay the minting fee
- A cryptocurrency wallet or digital wallet to store cryptocurrency and crypto assets
- Your artwork, song, or collectible that you want to mint
But before you download a crypto wallet and purchase cryptocurrency, you must decide which blockchain you want to mint your NFT on. Also, make sure you’ve thought long and hard about what kind of NFT you want to put into the world and how you intend to make it happen.
Create a Concept for Your NFT
NFTs became a multi-billion-dollar industry in a matter of years, and there have been several rags-to-riches stories about young artists hitting it big with NFTs and Web3.
But the reality is millions of NFTs on OpenSea and other NFT marketplaces will never sell at all. Not only is the market flooded with poorly conceived NFTs, but as with any art, selling is difficult — especially for beginners or unknown creators.
That’s why it’s critical to have a great concept before you mint your first NFT. Take time brainstorming what makes your concept original and why someone would spend their hard-earned crypto on your NFT. It’s one thing to mint an NFT: it’s another to mint an NFT someone would pay to own.
If you’re an artist with years of experience, creating a concept might come easy. Or you could have a project that’s already finished that you want to onboard to Web3 as an NFT. But just because something is amazing IRL doesn’t mean it makes sense in digital spaces and the metaverse.
After all, your NFT will be a digital asset, so consider how it will fit into digital spaces and if there’s anything you could do to improve it and make it new. Also, you might consider adding some IRL utility to your NFT.
For example, if you are a painter and minting a digital version of a piece of work, perhaps you’d include the IRL version of the painting for the purchaser of the NFT. That way when a fan purchases your NFT, they also receive the physical painting to hang up in their house as well as the digital asset that will be stored forever on the blockchain.
If you’re unsure about your concept, spend some time browsing popular NFT collections and 1:1 NFT art. Also, read up on NFT news as much as possible. Try to get an understanding of what’s being done in the space, and perhaps more importantly, what’s not being done.
Once you choose your concept and create your art, it’s time to decide what blockchain you’re going to use to mint your first NFT.
The Best Blockchains for NFTs
If this article was written in 2017, there would be only one blockchain to mint your NFT. The Ethereum blockchain (2015) is an open-sourced platform that runs smart contracts and launched the DeFi app and NFT art movement that took the world by storm.
The first generative NFT collections like CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties (2017) were launched on Ethereum and inspired Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, which is used for popular NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), World of Women (WoW), Cool Cats, and countless others.
Because the Ethereum blockchain is the OG of NFTs and was the first mover in the space, it deserves consideration by NFT creators. However, one negative aspect of Ethereum is that there can be expensive gas fees to mint your NFT, which can be off-putting if you just want to dabble in NFTs without acquiring too many costs.
Ethereum 2.0 is an upgrade expected later this year that among other things will transition its consensus mechanism from proof-of-stake to proof-of-work, and in doing so reduce gas fees for NFT minters and purchasers. In the meantime, there are alternative blockchains for NFT minters.
Some of the best alternative blockchains to Ethereum for minting NFTs include:
Researching the pros and cons of each blockchain before you mint your first NFT is important. Some blockchains, like Solana, boast record-setting speeds and low transaction fees. While others, like WAX and Tezos, pride themselves on being eco-friendly.
Once you decide on a blockchain, then you’ll know which cryptocurrency to purchase. For example, if you choose to mint your first NFT on the Solana blockchain, you must download a crypto wallet and purchase SOL cryptocurrency. SOL will be used to pay the price of minting your Solana NFT and storing it on the Solana blockchain.
Crypto and Digital Wallets
Now that you’ve decided on a blockchain, you can set up a crypto wallet and purchase cryptocurrency. If you plan to mint your NFT on a secondary marketplace like Rarible or OpenSea, certain crypto wallets can be used.
To mint an NFT on OpenSea, the first secondary NFT marketplace, you can use one of the following crypto wallets:
- Wallet Connect
Download a crypto wallet and purchase the amount of cryptocurrency you need to mint your NFT (the amount will depend largely on the blockchain you use). Although the above wallets work with OpenSea, OpenSea is not the only NFT marketplace to mint and sell NFTs.
Other notable crypto wallets include Kraken, Trust Wallet, Binance Chain Wallet, and the Crypto.com DeFi wallet. Also, it’s worth researching the difference between non-custodial wallets and custodial wallets to learn about the different ways you can store cryptocurrency.
NFT Marketplaces for Artists and Creators
Once you’ve chosen and blockchain and crypto wallet, you must decide which NFT marketplace to use to mint and sell your NFT. Selecting a secondary NFT marketplace to mint your NFT could depend on several factors, such as the type of work you’re minting, the blockchain you wish to use, and how much you’re willing to invest in transaction fees.
Listed below are some of the top secondary markets for NFTs and the blockchains they support:
- OpenSea. Ethereum. Solana. Polygon. Klatyn.
- Rarible. Ethereum. Polygon. Tezos. Flow.
- Magic Eden. Solana.
- Enjin. Ethereum.
- Binance Smart Chain. Ethereum.
These are open NFT marketplaces, which means anyone can mint an NFT if they have a digital file and a crypto wallet loaded with some cryptocurrency. They can be thought of like Web3 versions of eBay. The difference is that most items on eBay are IRL physical assets paid for with debit or credit cards, and the assets bought on NFT markets are digital assets paid for in cryptocurrencies.
Curated NFT Marketplaces
The open NFT markets listed above aren’t the only places creators can mint NFTs. Other NFT marketplaces have a selection process for NFT artists. These are called curated NFT marketplaces, and they function more like traditional galleries and art spaces.
Some curated NFT marketplaces seek out artists, and others allow creators to apply to mint work on their platforms. There can be several benefits to working with a curated marketplace, including help with the promotion and the sale of your NFT or NFT project.
Here are some of the most popular curated marketplaces:
- Nifty Gateway
For artists already established in Web2 and IRL spaces, applying to a curated NFT marketplace can be a great way to get your foot in the Web3 door. Even though it might take more work, the benefits of a reputable platform vouching for your work could be huge.
Minting an NFT on OpenSea
Now that we’ve covered some of the technologies, crypto wallets, NFT marketplaces, and steps to prepare to mint your NFT, let’s get to the minting part. For this example, we’ll use the oldest and largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea.
Here are the steps for minting an OpenSea NFT:
- Download a crypto wallet like MetaMask or Coinbase
- Go to OpenSea.io and create an OpenSea account
- Link your OpenSea account to your crypto wallet
- Open MetaMask extension in your Chrome browser. Enter password.
Now you should be ready to mint your first NFT or NFT collection. We recommend creating a collection because it can increase the chances of selling an NFT and get you more visibility. You can also treat the collection as an artwork portfolio and add to it over time.
To create an NFT collection:
- Choose My Collections on your OpenSea profile.
- Select Create a Collection
- Add logo Image, featured image, banner image, and fill out the rest of the requested information.
Once your collection has been named and created, you can add an individual NFT:
- Open the collection you created and click Add Item.
- Upload a digital file, such as a video file, with the correct file size and file type.
- Give your NFT a name.
- Be sure to fill in the properties, levels, and descriptions of the item.
- Set a selling price for your NFT and decide on your secondary sales royalty rate.
- When you’re finished, click Create.
Follow the steps to finish minting your NFT. Once complete, your NFT should be visible in your NFT collection on OpenSea. You can put it up for sale or just keep it on display if you wish.
How to Promote your NFT
Promoting your NFT before and after it’s minted is important. If you just mint an NFT and throw it up on OpenSea, it’s unlikely to gain traction on its own.
Here are some ways you can promote your NFT:
- Professional website. Update your website and keep it current and professional.
- Social Media. Post your creations on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Twitter is one of the most prominent platforms for NFTs and crypto art. You can also join NFT Discord channels that are related to the type of work you’re doing or create your own Discord.
- Connect and collaborate. Connecting with other artists working in the Web3 and NFT space is crucial. If you’re a musician, reach out to other people in the Web3 and NFT music space. Support their work and try to build or become a part of a community.
If it’s your first NFT or NFT project, it may take some time to start selling NFTs and find fans and supporters. But if you’re active and consistent in the NFT community, you’ll be giving yourself the best shot at success.
Should artists mint NFTs?
Whether or not an artist should mint an NFT is entirely up to them. Some people think NFTs are fascinating and revolutionary. Others think digital assets are confusing, unnecessary, and maybe even a bit annoying.
At Rarity Sniper, we’re not taking sides (although you could probably guess what camp we’re in). What we do know is all sorts of artists and creators are using NFTs to reach new audiences, earn a better royalty percentage, and have more control over their intellectual property. If those sound like good things to you, minting NFTs might be worth giving a try
And who knows. With the seemingly limitless growth that could take place in digital and virtual spaces in the years to come, whether you’re a digital artist, musician, painter, or poet, there might be a place for your work as an NFT in the metaverse.