NFTs were big in 2021. After all, Collins Dictionary chose non-fungible token as word of the year. And while we’re now seeing the non-fungible token market slowing down quite a bit, interest in the technology is hardly fading.
Whether you’re a creator looking to branch out or just someone curious about this new world, there's no doubt that NFTs can be a great asset.
That’s why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to make an NFT - and possibly even help you earn some money from your creations.
What Is An NFT
Ok, granted. If you’re checking this guide it is because you already have an idea of what is a non-fungible token. But just in case, here’s a quick recap.
An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a type of digital certificate that helps authenticate and establish the ownership of any given virtual asset. This is made possible with the help of blockchain technology (we will get into it in a second).
Each NFT comes with a unique identifier and metadata about the item they are attached to. The real kicker? All of this information cannot be faked, replaced, replicated or hacked in any way. For this reason, NFTs hold great potential and the NFT market has been booming for the last year or so. Some non-fungible tokens have sold for millions, like an NFT digital artwork by digital artist Beeple that was auctioned for $69 million at Christie's last year.
But this technology doesn't have to be expensive or fancy. Maybe you've come across it and have no idea. NFTs are increasingly being used in games like the hugely popular CryptoKitties.
The success and popularity of these digital tokens has presented a new opportunity for NFT creators to experiment with their art - and monetize their creations more fairly.
Whatever you’re looking for today, we’re sure you’ll have a great time playing around with NFTs and getting to know better about how this technology actually works.
What Do You Need to Know Before Making an NFT
To create NFTs you need to be familiar with a few concepts including minting, blockchain, crypto wallets, NFT marketplaces and gas fees.
It’s actually pretty simple to get a grasp of these so let’s get to it.
Making a non-fungible token is oftentimes referred to as “minting” a token. This process requires the use of a blockchain, meaning a digital platform for recording and verifying transactions. This digital ledger of transactions is virtually impossible to be hacked or tampered with, and all users have access to the information in it, making it one of the safest ways of tracking information and ownership of digital items. Examples of blockchain include Ethereum, Polygon or the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
Most of the most popular NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare, and Mintable, run on the Ethereum blockchain. Others, usually smaller platforms, such as AirNFTs and Binance, operate on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and are usually geared toward trading NFTs for the gaming industry.
Your digital assets can be stored in virtual or physical wallets, just like you probably already do with your money. You can also use NFT platforms like marketplaces to help you manage your NFTs.
Each NFT represents a unique digital item and they can correspond to image, video or audio formats. However, before you dive straight into minting your first NFT, keep in mind that you might have to pay a fee - known as a ‘gas fee’ - in return for using a specific blockchain.
Ethereum, for example, measures its gas fees in gwei, and prices can fluctuate depending on how much the blockchain is being utilized (you might hear some people refer to it as network congestion).
After years of criticism over the high gas fees, Ethereum is now seeing a drop as it moves closer to changing its consensus mechanism from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS).
And yes, you can find some platforms offering gas-free minting, including OpenSea and Rarible. This is called lazy minting. Ok, hopefully this has covered some ground for you but we’re sure you still have a few doubts left.
Decoding NFT Creation: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to use a marketplace to create an NFT?
Short answer: no. You can certainly make your own in-fungible tokens on your own, but it would certainly be more convenient to use existing tools and platforms like an NFT marketplace.
In contrast, creating an NFT on your own would involve complex steps like creating a smart contract, deploying it on a blockchain, and manually mint each of the tokens to be sold.
Not only can this be a hassle, it also requires advanced programming knowledge and the chances for something to go wrong are high.
So, unless you’re already skilled when it comes to NFT and blockchain, you will probably welcome having a helping hand in the early stages. See our guide to top NFT marketplaces for a comparison of some of the most popular options.
Where can I mint an NFT?
Here's a list of the main sites I can use to create your own NFT:
Do I need a crypto wallet?
Most likely, yes. It makes sense that you’ll need to open a digital wallet as you will have to pay (in cryptocurrency) in order to create your NFTs. And whether you want to buy or sell a non-fungible token, you’ll also need a wallet for that.
The majority of NFT marketplaces will have this as a requirement. Some of the most reputable wallets include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet and Alpha Wallet, but there are many other options to choose from. If you’re looking to market your NFTs specifically in the metaverse, you might want to take a look at our list of the best metaverse wallets.
That said, there are NFT marketplaces like Nifty Gateway that allow fiat currency payments
Here are some of the advantages of using a digital wallet:
- It will help you manage your cryptocurrency and tokens
- You’ll be able to easily send and receive funds
- Approving and signing off on NFT transactions is just a click away
- Gas or commission fees are deducted from your crypto wallet
- With your wallet’s address, you can easily monitor and track all your transactions with the help of tools like Etherscan
Can I choose not to pay gas fees?
As we mentioned earlier, there are marketplaces that will not only make the minting go NFTs a seamless process but won’t charge you in return for using their platform. This is because the gas fees are stuck to the buyer not the creator. That’s the case of Rarible and OpenSea.
Other platforms that have minimal to no fees include Mintable and Polygon. And while minting NFTs might involve some gas fees, you’ll also want to look into other transaction fees charged by your NFT marketplace of choice.
What Can I NFT?
Pretty much anything, really. That helps explain why toilet paper, Pringles, cat memes and even farts (yes, for real), have ended up as NFTs. Of course, most marketplaces are catering to more traditional choices like digital art, but a growing number of platforms are slowly integrating a number of formats and assets like audio and gaming NFTs. And let’s not forget about the rising popularity of wearable NFTs that’s seen the who’s who of fashion and sportswear dipping their toes into this brave new world of crypto and blockchain. Long story short - when it comes to NFT creation, there are no limitations to creativity.
How To Make An NFT
Ok, now that we’ve covered the basics, it's time to get to the good stuff. Let's mint NFTs!
Step 1: Pick Your Digital Item
This one is a no-brainer: you’ll have to start off by knowing exactly what it is that you’ll be turning (or minting) as an NFT. The good news is that these days pretty much anything can be turned into an NFT, digital and physical. Make sure your digital asset is unique and has an NFT value/ proposition that will make sense to a potential buyer. Some will call it the ‘utility’ of the NFT.
Step 2: Set Up Your Digital Wallet
You have something really cool in mind for your NFT idea so now you need a virtual wallet where you will store your cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
There are several options out there but MetaMask is by far the most popular, mainly because it offers broad support options and can be easily installed as a Chrome extension. It also offers a version for iOS and Android, meaning that you’ll be able to access your wallet from a wide range of devices. The process should be fairly straightforward and you can easily find a Youtube tutorial to guide you through.
Step 3: Add Cryptocurrency To Your Wallet
Once you set up your digital wallet, you'll need to load it up with cryptocurrency. Most NFT marketplaces - as they rely on the Ethereum blockchain - take Ether.
You can buy cryptocurrency through MetaMask directly or via an exchange like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken and KuCoin.
Once you’re done with it, you will need to connect your wallet to an NFT marketplace. With MetaMask, you will easily find the "Connect" button.
Step 4: Choose A Marketplace
Now we get to the point where (hopefully) your research has paid off and you’re set on using one of the top NFT marketplaces to help you mint your first NFT. The idea is that you won’t have to have a big arsenal of tech skills to get started, so you might consider OpenSea, Rarible or Polygon as your platform.
For illustrative purposes, we will be choosing OpenSea to guide you through the next few steps. This NFT marketplace is not only a great starting point for newbies, but it’s the leader in NFT sales, especially when it comes to NFT art. Don’t worry, the minting process should be pretty similar no matter the marketplace you choose.
Off we go!
Step 5: Connect Your Wallet To The NFT Marketplace
Whichever wallet you’ve chosen, connecting it to an NFT marketplace should be an easy step. As we’ll be using OpenSea for this guide, the steps should be as follows:
- Go to your OpenSea account
- Click on the Profile icon at the top-right corner
- Select the MetaMask option from the wallet list
- Link the MetaMask wallet you have to OpenSea.
- Click on “Next”
- Add your details like email address, username, and more.
And that’s it. You’re now ready to start minting your own NFT.
Step 6: Upload Your File
We’ve arrived at the best part of it all - the NFT minting moment. First off, you’ll upload the digital file you’ll be turning into an NFT. Your preferred NFT marketplace should have a step-by-step tutorial of how this process looks like. You can check out OpenSea’s guide here.
Even without one, you’ll rapidly see the Create button in the upper right-hand corner of your OpenSea account. If you’re feeling brave and would rather create a series of NFTs, you can choose to mint a whole NFT collection. You might have heard of wildly popular collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club or the NBA Top Shot.
If you're set on having your own NFT collection, you’ll have to go to your profile picture in the top right of your account, then go to My Collections > Create a collection.
Step 7: Mint And Share
Now, let’s finally get started on the final touches to your NFT.
Make sure to input your NFTs description, including name (or title), and any other details you think are relevant. You can also use the External Link field to add a URL pointing to your personal website or socials.
Another great feature is that OpenSea will let you determine your royalties in case you choose to sell your NFT down the line. The very last thing before minting your NFT is selecting which blockchain you’re minting on - Ethereum or Polygon. Make sure you pay close attention to this as it will affect the fees associated with the mint. A quick reminder that Polygon has no fees, making it perhaps a better choice for those just starting out.
After you’ve chosen your blockchain, you’ll want to double-check everything. All set?
Click the Create button, wait for a bit (minting times depending on the type of file you’ve selected usually) and soon you should see a screen saying that your non-fungible file has been created.
Congratulations. You have just minted your NFT.
Now that you’re the proud creator of an NFT (or more), you may choose to hold on to it or to sell your tokens. Luckily, that’s also a fairly easy process with OpenSea (click on your NFT and you’ll find the Sell button right away).
Once your NFT has been listed on the OpenSea marketplace, all users can see your creations, place bids (if you choose to sell it through a timed auction instead of having a fixed price) and buy your NFTs.
It’s true that making an NFT might sound quite daunting at first, especially because all of this technology is still pretty new, but hopefully our guide has helped you feel more at ease.
After all, NFT creation is meant to be enjoyable. Or so we'd like to think.