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How To Create An NFT? And Why It’s Worth It.

Over the last year, NFTs have become a cultural phenomenon, continually making news as celebrities dabble in the field and hijinks, scams, and legal battles result. While it’s difficult to predict if they’ll retain or regain their appeal during a market downturn or two. There are still lots of reasons why someone may want to try their hand at making one. Who can resist a field from which artists have made millions?

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We’ll go over how to construct an NFT utilizing two of the most popular marketplaces. But first, let’s go over some of the fundamentals of what an NFT is and the decisions you may have to make before selling one.

1. Determine What An NFT Is

Listen, there’s no judgment if you’ve come here with little knowledge of what NFTs are. “Hey, you should sell that photo of your pet as an NFT,” a friend would have said. But, before you go through the process of developing and selling one, you should probably know what you’re doing.

We have a full explainer dedicated to NFTs and the culture surrounding them. As well as an explainer dedicated to the blockchain technology that NFTs employ. You don’t have to study every word in them, but the rest of this tutorial will make allusions to Ethereum, proof of work, and other comparable ideas that you’ll understand better if you read our explainers.

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But here’s a fast TL; DR. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital tokens that are kept on the blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies, where each coin is identical, each NFT is unique and can be sold as a means of proving ownership over some type of digital content.

Almost always, the files are not truly saved on the blockchain. Instead, a link to the file is saved. It’s saved together with a token that serves as a confirmation of ownership over whatever that link goes to. There’s also no law that says two or more NFTs for the same file can’t exist.

You can have NFTs with editions, similar to trading cards. An NFT, for example, can be rare because only ten copies exist, or common because thousands of identical NFTs have been “minted,” or committed to the blockchain.

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There is also nothing to prevent someone from using the file you used for your NFT.

2. Choose where you want to sell your NFT

It’s also worth noting that our guide will show you how to do things the simple way. Even in NFT markets, there are deep rabbit holes you can fall into that this article will not address. Simply keep in mind that this isn’t designed to be a full guide to selling NFTs – it’s just a starting point.

Because of their “lazy minting” techniques, both OpenSea and Rarible allow you to construct NFTs on Ethereum without paying anything. Lazy minting allows you to construct an NFT and sell it without actually writing it to the blockchain.

When someone buys it, the fees for writing your NFT to the blockchain will be combined with the fees for transferring it to the buyer. This avoids the situation in which you pay $10 to $30 to mint an NFT that no one buys.

Most Minting NFTS Options Include Some Form Of Trade-Off

There may be snags – placing your first Ethereum NFT for sale with OpenSea would necessitate initializing your account, which will cost money (during testing in June 2022, I witnessed pricing around the $60-70 level). It is a one-time cost, and once paid, you will be able to lazy-mint NFTs without paying anything else.

I didn’t have to pay anything like this during my testing with Rarible. However, attempting to withdraw your NFT from the sale would incur a fee (I noticed rates ranging from $6-8). Both Rarible and OpenSea will deduct a 2.5 percent charge from any sales you make, which means that if you sell an NFT for 0.025 ETH, you’ll actually earn 0.024375 ETH.

As you may expect, if there were no catches or disadvantages to these low / no-fee blockchains, everyone would use them. At the time of writing, using Flow on Rarible limits you to single-edition NFTs. However, you cannot sell them via auction.

Furthermore, when using non-Ethereum blockchains like Flow or Polygon, customers cannot use Ethereum to purchase their NFTs. While both sites allow purchasers to add funds to their wallets in order to make a transaction. Or even needing to convert or buy another cryptocurrency in order to obtain your NFT may turn some collectors off.

Do I Have To Create An NFT On A Marketplace Site?

No, technically. You can develop your own smart contract, publish it on your preferred blockchain, and then use it to mint your own tokens. That is, however, diving into the deep end, and is probably not the road you want to go unless you are really technical. The majority of individuals will wish to use one of the platforms mentioned above.

3. Create A Wallet

Wallets are the software that you use to store your cryptocurrencies as well as any NFTs that you mint or purchase. Coinbase has a more detailed description of how wallets operate and the various alternatives available, but if you’re just getting started, there’s really just one thing you need to be concerned about: utilizing a wallet that is compatible with the blockchain you’re using.

MetaMask’s wallet is one of the wallets extensively supported by Ethereum-based services. For example, OpenSea, Foundation, and others. It is also available as a Chrome / Firefox extension as well as an iOS / Android app. Coinbase also offers its own wallet, which you can use as an extension or app on most devices. If you want to get into crypto more generally, you should look into Coin base’s wallet. It supports blockchains other than Ethereum, such as Bitcoin.

The setup procedures for MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet are comparable. Once you’ve installed the browser extension or app, click or press the “Create new wallet” button. Coinbase will request a username, and both will request a password, which you should make sure is secure.

Finally, both MetaMask and Coinbase will provide you with a “seed phrase,” which consists of 12 random words. It’s critical not to lose this since it will let you retrieve your account if you, for example, remove the app or need to set up your wallet on a new device.

It’s a good idea to make a copy and keep it in a secure area. Such as a physical safe or password manager (or both). If you set it up via the app, MetaMask will ask you to repeat the phrase. Whereas Coinbase Wallet will ask you if you want to save an encrypted copy of it in the cloud.

4. Connect Your Wallet

After you’ve created your wallet, you’ll want to link it to the NFT marketplace you intend to use. OpenSea and Rarible make this simple by prompting you to connect your wallet when you click the Create button in the top left. You’ll then be presented with a list of compatible wallets, and selecting yours will initiate the connecting procedure.

If you have Metamask or Coinbase’s extension installed, a pop-up will appear inviting you to connect your wallet, which you can do with a few button clicks. If you’re using the Coinbase Wallet app, you can also use the QR code scanner to connect to the marketplace (which you can find to the right of your balance on the main wallet screen).

A word of caution for the future. Be cautious if you receive an unexpected request to connect to your wallet, as criminals may be attempting to access your cash or NFTs. As long as you’re on a trusted site, you should be fine. However, if an unknown site requests access to your wallet, you should generally think twice before agreeing.

5. Create An NFT

After connecting your wallet, you’ll be taken to the page where you may establish an NFT (and if you don’t end up there, you can go there by hitting the Create button in the upper right-hand corner on both platforms).

Before we get started on our NFTs, let’s talk about collections. Both platforms allow collections, which are exactly what they sound like. You can use a collection to generate a succession of NFTs. On Rarible, you can create one right from the NFT creation screen, to which the NFT you’re making will be added. On OpenSea, go to your profile photo in the upper right corner, then My Collections > Create a collection.

We won’t go over collections in this guide, but if you don’t specify one, OpenSea will automatically place the NFT you generate in an unnamed collection (you may update the collection later or move the NFT to another collection), and Rarible allows you sell an NFT as a Rarible Single without a collection.

Let us now get started on our NFT.

Adding an NFT to Opensea

You’ll be taken to the create new item page after clicking the Create button. To begin, click the image icon box, which will allow you to upload the file you’ll be selling as an NFT (though, do make sure to take note of the file size and type limitations noted above the selector).

Give your file a name or title after you’ve added it. You can also use the External Link field to add a URL pointing to your website or Twitter account. The Description field provides potential buyers with more information about your NFT.

Underneath those fields, you can select a collection for your NFT if one has been created. As well as additional properties, levels, or stats that act as metadata. If you’re selling an NFT that can be used as a video game character, for example, enter their information here. If you’re selling a piece of art, you can add information about it to the properties panel, such as the medium, year, and so on. However, because all of these fields are optional, many people will be able to ignore them.

Following those toggles and fields is a dropdown where you can choose whether you want to mint your NFT on the Ethereum chain or the Polygon chain. Step 3 has more information on the pros and cons of each. However, we’ll use Polygon as an example because it currently doesn’t require any fees. If you’re minting with Polygon, you can also mint multiple copies of your NFT.

After you’ve decided on your blockchain, double-check everything. OpenSea allows you to change the metadata afterward as long as you haven’t put it up for sale, but it’s best to double-check everything before doing anything blockchain-related. Also, you will not be able to change the blockchain on which the NFT is running after the fact.

When you’re ready to go, click the Create button. Depending on the options you’ve chosen and the type of file you’re selling as an NFT, you may have to wait for things to upload. When it’s finished, you’ll see a screen indicating that your NFT has been created.

However, your NFT is not yet available for purchase on OpenSea.. To do so, you must exit the congratulations screen and navigate to your NFT page. There will be a Sell button on the NFT page.

You can create a listing for a fixed price with NFTs listed on Ethereum or Polygon. You can also create a timed auction with NFTs listed on Ethereum. For a fixed-price listing, simply enter the amount you want to sell the item for and select the length of time you want the listing to be available.

Because the NFT will be available for purchase as soon as you list it, you can use the “More options” dropdown to make it only available to a specific buyer.

Selling NFTs

To sell your NFT, click the “Complete listing” button. You’ll need to use the browser extension or the app to confirm or sign a few transactions with your wallet. Transactions on Polygon are free, and you’ll see a screen indicating that your item has been listed.

If this is your first NFT, you’ll need to perform a one-time approval transaction on Ethereum to “initialize” it. You’ll need Ethereum in your wallet to do so. Purchasing cryptocurrency could be the subject of its own explainer, but here’s a starting point.

Because the money for this transaction is only going towards gas and not a fee for OpenSea. The cost is entirely dependent on how much Ethereum’s gas fees are at the time. Prices ranged from around $240 to $450 in my initial tests in December 2021, but by June 2022, they had dropped to $50 to $60.

It all depends on the price of Ethereum and how many people are attempting to carry out transactions. So if the fees appear to be high, you may want to wait until the price drops. You can monitor transaction costs using a site like ETH Gas Station, or keep an eye out for a high fee warning in MetaMask.

I Made An NFT But It Hasn’t Shown In My Wallet?

There’s no need to be concerned if your wallet has an NFT section and the NFT you created with this guide does not appear in it. Your wallet reads blockchain entries to determine what to display, and lazy-minted NFTs aren’t actually written to the blockchain until someone buys them, so they won’t appear in your wallet right away.

Difficult Sales

If everything went well, you should now have an NFT for sale on Rarible, OpenSea, or both. However, as sellers have told me, that’s not going to get you very far. As you’ve seen, the process is relatively complicated.

However, the gold rush-like atmosphere surrounding NFTs has led many to try their hand at making one. If you want your creation to sell, you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd, whether that’s through clever marketing or by producing truly exceptional work. That task, however, I will delegate to you.