How to Create an NFT
How to Create an NFT
Non-fungible tokens have skyrocketed in popularity, allowing you to create and own a unique digital asset. You’ll find a variety of NFTs online, from art to antiques to real estate (both virtual and physical), and even gaming and sports-related NFTs.
How do you make an NFT? Can anyone make an NFT? The answer is yes, even if you don’t know much about tokens or the blockchain. There are five simple steps to get going in the wide world of NFTs.
Decide what type of NFT to create
You can have fun creating all kinds of NFTs and potentially even make money from selling or trading them. Remember that the best NFT you can make is the one you’ll enjoy creating. Choose a topic you find fun and interesting because you’ll spend at least a little time making it — and you want to enjoy the time you put into your NFT.
Types of NFTs
How the digital asset will be used determines how to create the NFT token. For example, people who like to collect items often decide to create art or antique NFTs. If the creator enjoys sports, an NFT based on sports is a good choice. Interested in land or real estate? The NFT could represent a piece of actual land or property in a virtual world. The beauty of NFTs is that makers can create whatever they want.
Many NFT creators make collections of art based on a theme or a type of art they enjoy. The art an NFT is based on can be digital, but it can also represent physical art. Make sure you have the intellectual property rights on the artwork if you want to make and sell art NFTs.
Those who are more of a sports fan than an art lover may prefer NFTs based on their favorite games and players. Some of the most well-known NFTs in sports are from TOPPS for online trading cards, but you don’t have to limit your sports NFTs to digital baseball trading cards. With DraftKings, you can even play fantasy football with NFTs.
While physical antiques are often delicate and hard to care for, making NFTs based on antiques can be just as collectible — and they don’t fall apart when you touch them. Antique NFTs could be right up your alley if you’re into collecting.
More types of NFTs
There are plenty of other ways to create NFTs you might be interested in. You can even include perks that can be embedded in your NFT (don’t worry, we’ll get into that a bit later). For example, some shoe companies mint NFTs linked to a collectible shoe. Artists issue NFTs that include concert tickets, VIP seats, and more. Popular business gurus make NFTs with special perks like one-on-one phone calls.
These perks give the NFT more value in the marketplace, allowing the creator to make more money. You can also learn how to generate NFTs that contain perks to make yours more valuable.
How much does it cost to make an NFT?
Much of the cost of creating NFTs is the time and energy it takes. Depending on the type of token you want to generate, it may be a cost upfront or not cost anything until you sell.
However, many blockchains will require you to pay a fee. This fee, often known as a “gas fee,” fluctuates according to how much traffic is on the blockchain when you’re making NFTs.
There’s also a cost when you list the NFT you made for sale on a marketplace. One way or another, you’re likely paying a commission.
Can I create an NFT for free?
On some NFT marketplaces, you can bundle gas and sales fees into the sales price when you’re making NFTs. This is known as “free minting” or, in some cases, “lazy minting.” That way, you don’t have to pay out of pocket up front — you only pay when you make a sale, and the cost is deducted from your proceeds.
Can an NFT be copyrighted?
The beauty of creating NFTs is that you don’t need to take any extra steps, like copyrighting, because your NFT is one-of-a-kind and permanently has your name on it. No matter how often your NFT is bought or sold, your status as creator can’t be removed or changed. In fact, you can add a condition to your NFT in the form of a “smart contract” to receive commissions on every single sale, usually a percentage, such as 10% or 15%, though these can vary.
Choose a blockchain
The blockchain is the platform on which NFTs are made, but not all blockchains are the same. You might be familiar with the Bitcoin blockchain, but NFTs are created on a different type of blockchain that allows for smart contracts. Each blockchain has its own token that users buy, sell, and trade with.
What’s a blockchain?
Technically, a blockchain is a distributed ledger, which is just tech-speak for having no central authority that decides which transactions are authorized. Instead, the blockchain sends transactions to all the computers in the network, and the computers agree on which transactions are legitimate. You can imagine a chain of blocks all linked together, and the transactions that are agreed upon form a block. The next set of transactions is another block, which gets added to the previous one. And so forth.
Once a list of transactions is authorized, it’s added to the existing chain of records. The transactions can’t be changed or modified once they’re written into the block. Creating NFTs gives them the same type of authorization.
Making NFTs is most often done on Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum’s token is Ether, known as ETH. Ethereum and other blockchains like it allow for smart contracts that automatically execute once the contract’s conditions are met. For example, if you added a 10% commission to the smart contract in your NFT, you’d receive 10% on the sale every time it’s traded — even if you weren’t involved in the trade at all.
Blockchain security: is it safe?
The way transactions are authorized depends on complicated mathematical algorithms, so it’s tough to hack into the chain. As blocks are added, they contain references to the blocks before them. If a hacker wanted to modify a transaction, they’d also have to change all the preceding blocks. As the blockchain grows, it only becomes more secure. Anyone can make an NFT securely on a blockchain, but there are several steps you’ll need to take first.
Set up a crypto wallet to store your NFT
Unfortunately, your regular wallet and credit cards won’t cut it if you want to be active on the blockchain and create NFTs. You’ll need to buy the token of the blockchain you’ve chosen (such as ETH), which will be stored in your crypto wallet. There are several different kinds of wallets; the harder they are for you to use, the more secure they are from hackers.
You could get a wallet that’s stored offline, known as “cold storage,” which makes your crypto less likely to be hacked. That makes it less convenient to use. If your wallet is online, you need to be more careful about your transactions to ensure that your crypto stays where you want it.
You’ll get a two-part security key for your crypto wallet. The public key is an address for people to send you money, and this address is what is recorded on the blockchain. (Don’t worry, it’s anonymous and won’t have your name on it.) The private key is how you get in and out of your wallet. Don’t store your private key anywhere on your computer; you might want to make several copies and hide them somewhere that’s hard for anyone else to find. Your private key isn’t like the password to your bank account that you can change if you need to. If you lose it, you lose all the contents of your wallet.
Choose a platform/marketplace for making NFTs
You almost have all the ingredients for how to generate an NFT — now you need to choose where you’re going to mint and sell it. There are different marketplaces for different types of NFTs and NFT drops that show you how to create an NFT.
What is an NFT marketplace?
The blockchain is the underlying platform for all the transactions that happen on it. When you want to sell an NFT you generated, you need to mint it in a marketplace where people are looking for others creating NFTs like yours. The blockchain is similar to a mall: shoppers go there to find their items, but you don’t sell to the mall. You sell your products to a store that’s in the mall like you mint to an NFT marketplace.
You want a marketplace that trades the type of NFT you’ve made. Otherwise, you won’t have the right kinds of buyers looking at your token. For instance, you don’t want to upload your sports NFT onto a marketplace known for NFT art.
Minting your NFT
Once you’ve chosen the type of NFT you’d like to create and know where to create NFT tokens, how to use a crypto wallet, and where to store your NFT, you’re ready to “mint” it.
What is “minting”?
Making NFTs and putting them on the blockchain is known as minting. Each blockchain has a slightly different way to mint your NFT, but most have a button you can click to mint your nonfungible token. The marketplaces have made it easy, which is why almost anyone can create an NFT.
You’ll upload the asset —be it a PDF, mp3, or something else — and pay your gas fee unless you follow the instructions for how to make NFTs for free. You’ll also spell out any perks you want to put in the smart contract, like a 10% commission, t-shirts, mugs, or other added benefits that could make your token more valuable.
What is a “gas fee”?
You’ll need to pay to use the blockchain for everything, including creating NFTs. On Ethereum, you’ll pay the gas fee unless you’re using the lazy minting option. Not every transaction on the blockchain is accepted, and sometimes you may need to pay more gas to make sure your NFT is authorized.
The blockchain’s algorithm determines the fee amount, and if many users are trying to access the blockchain, the algorithm will charge more. Just bear in mind that not all Ethereum users are in the US. Just because it’s a good time to be on the blockchain in the States doesn’t mean that users in other countries won’t be trying to access it.
Can making NFTs be a profitable investment?
You can absolutely make money from creating NFTs. The digital artist Beeple sold a piece for $69 million. That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll make millions immediately. NFTs are extremely trend-driven, so you have to know what’s selling and what people want from their NFT “drops” if you’re looking to make a lot of money. NFT buyers tend to buy what other NFT buyers are buying. Fortunately, many NFT marketplaces will give you access to tools that let you analyze trends.
You’ll also need to market them after you’ve learned how to generate NFTs. This usually involves a lot of community-building on NFT spaces like “crypto Twitter,” Discord channels, and Reddit threads. You’ll want to put a lot of thought into how you’ll make potential buyers feel comfortable buying from you, and assure them that they’ll be getting something valuable – that’s why so many NFT creators add perks to the smart contracts. This makes your NFT more valuable, so you make more profit.
A great platform for NFTs is the Draft Kings marketplace, which allows you not only to trade NFTs for profit but also to play fantasy games and maybe win some money as well. If you’re a sports fan, this is a way to get familiar with NFTs with built-in profit potential.
Be aware of NFT scams
Although the blockchain records are secure, crypto scammers are active and trying to separate you from your cryptocurrency. There are a variety of ways scammers can steal your crypto, but educating yourself on their methods will help protect your assets. Take a look at our guide to NFT safety to learn about common scams and how you can protect yourself against them.