Somewhere between creeping through at a snail’s pace and galloping past the naysayers, NFTs have finally grown up. With an easy-to-remember name in “Non-Fungible Tokens,” these digital assets have been perhaps the only hot tech in recent news that was interesting. It saw a combined market cap increase of 1,785% from last year by just March 2021! Why? Well, for starters, everyone was in on it! Even if you weren’t directly buying, dealing, or browsing for NFTs, these invisible fairies were still the talk of the town on social media, over the internet, and in mainstream news. And if you think that you’re just about catching on and raring to get on the bandwagon, well, there might be a few things you should probably get sorted before you take a shot at this ride.
By itself, the NFT art market has seen a staggering growth of 800% this year, leading up to $490m. That’s quite a promising fact, but if you’re a designer or perhaps an artist who’s just starting in this scene, you’ll probably not be reaching the levels of someone like Beeple - ‘sells NFT at $70m,’ anytime soon. Of course, you can mint your own NFT and flash it around, and it might even trade someday, but this process can be a tedious and drawn-out one. You might get lucky one day with one of your NFTs going viral, but until then, you must get down to brass tacks about it.
You’ll need several things, all set in order, before you can create your own NFT. In time, you’ll get better at it, put some decent spins on what you’re able to make, and even perhaps get some decent offers on them. But sometimes, you’ve just got to hit the ground running before you can learn to walk.
Sorting out the finances
To make an NFT, you would need to cover some costs that will go into minting and thus having one. Many blockchains support creating NFTs, like Tron, Cosmos, Polkadot, etc. but to make things easier, you can go with Ethereum for now. It’s a very popular blockchain, and there are quite a few NFT marketplaces that actively support it.
To store the Ether (Ethereum cryptocurrency), you will also need to have a wallet supporting doing so. Again, there are multiple wallets from which you can have your picks like Trezor One, Exodus, and Mist. However, if you’re new to all of this, we suggest going with MetaMask. Simply download it onto your smart device and have about 100$ or more worth of Ether ready to cover the operational price.
Creating the NFT
Once you’ve done your prep work, you finally get down to creating the sort of NFT you desire. The process can be simplified into these broad steps:
- Take your pick: NFTs today can be any digital file, any asset. It’s just that it needs to be unique and cannot be interchanged. So, depending on your preference, you can choose to make an NFT using a piece of music, a GIF or video, some meaningful text, and the most common ones, digital drawings or paintings.
- Choose an NFT marketplace: With everything in place, you’ll then head into a marketplace of your choice, where you will get to create and ultimately list the NFTs you make. Now you can have your pick from marketplaces like SuperRare, Nifty Gateway, and Rarible, but for the sake of simplicity, it would be better if you go with one like OpenSea as you don’t need to be an approved artist to be listing your NFTs on it. Follow the prompts you get on the OpenSea dashboard and connect your wallet here while you’re at it.
- Minting: Finally, with all cogs of the machine in place, you can start minting your NFT. On OpenSea, hit ‘create’ from the menu and then fill in all the information the platform requires from you about your artwork. Load your artwork onto the site and once you’re happy with all the details, pull the trigger on ‘create.’ Once your NFT’s finished minting, you can view it and then sell it on OpenSea. Also, you can go over the nitty-gritties about your NFT’s sale here - such as payment, whether you’ll like to put it up for auction or a fixed price, any royalties you’d like from further sales, etc.
Once you’ve completed all these steps and listed your freshly minted NFT on the marketplace, you’d need to next focus on how you’ll get it sold. Simply waiting won’t do the trick, as it can take a while before a prospective buyer comes upon your digital works. Like how art is marketed in the real world, you’ll need to figure out how to do the same for your precious NFTs to get noticed and get in on this $14b market cap. This can be as tedious as the artistic process itself, maybe even more. On the plus side, you’ve now learnt how to immortalize and make money, from what you used to doodle in notebooks or some embarrassing clip of yours, to a fault.