The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) craze keeps growing. What was once a niche part of the cryptocurrency side of the Internet has now exploded into the mainstream. Every company is getting a slice of the crypto pie from fast-food chains to gaming. With that said, it's not too late to capitalize on the NFT market if you want to make an NFT of your own, but learning about NFTs can feel daunting. You try looking it up, and there's so much undigestable, sometimes contradictory information about it.
This article will cut through that and help you learn more about NFTs regardless of who you are. So, let's begin.
To understand what NFTs are, we must first look at blockchain technology. You have probably heard the term, but you may have no idea what it is.
To put it in simple terms, blockchain stores data together through blocks. Once this block has enough information, it's linked to the previous block, hence the chain part of the term.
How is this different from traditional data storage methods? In short, a database uses tables to store its data, and this data can be deleted or altered. However, a blockchain is not alterable. Once a block is created, it has a date on it, and the blockchain moves on to filling the next block.
So, what makes blockchain technology and NFTs so appealing? First, the irreversibility of a blockchain makes it more trusted. Then, the fact that it does not have any centralization makes Think of all the videos, profiles, and websites lost to time on the Internet. Through blockchain technology, you worry less about that.
An NFT is a digital asset that utilizes blockchain technology. This asset is a representation of ownership or a unique item. Most examples of NFTs include digital art, but it can also include virtual real estate, collectible cards, and a growing list of assets.
Think of the NFT as a certificate of authenticity. When you own an NFT, you own a unique item. The uniqueness is where the term "non-fungible" comes in. Bitcoins are fungible due to them being all the same. However, each NFT is unique.
Most NFTs use Ethererum, a blockchain that's also its own cryptocurrency, but other blockchains take advantage of the technology.
Still being a new technology in its Wild West phase, people are starting to sell their art as NFTs in hopes that investors will spend millions on them. The artist Beeple sold his NFT for $69 million. The uploader of the 2007 video "Charlie Bit My Finger" sold the video as an NFT for $760,000. Imagine making that much for a cute video of your kids! That's how wild the market is right now.
Still not convinced? Let's explain why you should sell your art as an NFT.
The "starving artist" struggle has existed for many centuries, with artists having trouble earning what they deserve for their works. Some artists get the recognition and value they deserve, but it's only after death. Others get no credit at all.
With the Internet, artists have taken power back. It's easier than ever to spread your art and get commissions. For example, an artist in Chile can get a commission from a client in the US without ever leaving their home. NFTs are the next step in helping artists earn their cuts. Here are some reasons why NFTs can be excellent for artists.
With NFTs, everything is done through a decentralized marketplace. As a result, it's much easier to set up your digital art gallery than in-person or even through a traditional art website. Not only is it quicker, but you can
keep more of your profits.
With traditional art, once you sell it to a client, that client can sell it to someone else without you seeing any of that money. However, an NFT, since no one can replace it, always traces back to you. As a result, it is easy for you to program the NFT to earn royalties each time the NFT is sold.
In other words, if someone sells your NFT, you can get some of the profits. In some cases, you can earn up to 10%. For example, think back to that artist who sold his work for $69 million. If the person who bought that art sells it again at the same price, and the artist has a 10% royalty on it, then that artist can earn a cool $6.9 million.
Perhaps the biggest allure of NFTs is that the person who owns it can prove they own the artwork. With digital artwork, someone can download it, repost it, or link to it, but they won't have the NFT proving they own it. With NFTs, no one can fake a certificate of authenticity. Once again, the blockchain cannot be edited by anyone once it's written down. The digital equivalent of "It's set in stone" should be referred to as "It's written in the blockchain."
For all these reasons and more, artists are making their art into NFTs. You can get on the action, too. Best of all, you do not need to be an advanced crypto expert to do it, either. Here's how you can do it.
If you want to sell your art as an NFT, follow the steps below.
With selling any online goods, you need an online marketplace to sell them. With many NFT Marketplaces to choose from, OpenSea.io is the biggest NFT marketplace currently.Think of it as the Amazon or eBay of NFTs. Of course, there are other sites you can try as well, including Rarible or Mintable.
Selling NFTs on a marketplace is different compared to other digital goods. For one thing, you should not host your NFT on multiple marketplaces due to its uniqueness. For example, if you made a digital game, you could sell it on numerous websites because the customer's downloaded files are the same. However, each NFT is unique, so choose one to host your NFT on.
Another thing to keep in mind is that due to the complexity of blockchain technology, you cannot simply set up your own website and sell them on there; you can only link to the marketplace. Therefore, choosing your NFT marketplace is vital.
So, how do you select a marketplace? One thing to consider is if the market is curated or self-service.
Think of these platforms as hosting high art. They only allow authorized art there, such as limited-edition art that's truly unique. One of the most well-known curated platforms is SuperRare. While they don't allow for much freedom regarding transaction fees or royalties, the buyers on SuperRare tend to have millions to burn.
To sell on SuperRare and similar platforms, you either get an invite from them or apply. With an application, be sure to provide a portfolio and a compelling explanation as to why you believe you should be on there.
A self-service platform does not have any authorized users, so anyone can sell their art as an NFT, allowing for more freedom with royalties. OpenSea and Rarible are examples of self-service platforms.
These platforms have their cons as well. Anyone can use them, which leads to more competition and more low-quality NFTs. However, if your art is good, it can rise over the sea of imitators.
Once you've picked your site, there should be a prominent button to create an account. For example, on OpenSea, it's the button in the top right that says "Create." Once you click the button, you might be asked to connect your wallet.
But wait, what's a wallet? You can skip the next step if you have a digital wallet already. If you don't, then keep reading.
A digital wallet stores crypto assets such as your NFTs and the currencies used to buy or sell them. With digital wallets, they're relatively easy to set up, and OpenSea will give you a list of them that you can pick from.
Their most popular one is MetaMask, which is a Google Chrome or Brave Browser extension. There are some differences; for example, the MetaMask only uses Ethereum (ETH), while CoinBase Wallet uses a variety of cryptocurrencies. Since most NFTs use ETH, many go simple and pick MetaMask, but it's up to you.
Either way, you do need some ETH to list NFTs. In addition, you might need to pay a gas fee, which is a fee used to compensate the crypto miners who verify each transaction. These fees can vary depending on how busy the servers are. For example, they can range anywhere from $10 to over $100.
Just like the gas in your car, there are tips and tricks to pay less. However, paying less for your gas fee is another article for another day.
Your collection is what you're selling. Creating a collection is similar to how it is on OpenSea, where you need to find the My Collections button on your interface. Once you click on it, there's quite a bit you can do to make your store unique. For example, you can upload display images, name the store, describe your art pieces, and more. Like selling physical or digital goods, the more details you have, the more alluring it can be for buyers. So think hard about what you want to write, then write it down.
Now you need to create your digital arts token, which will, in turn, make your NFT. It's pretty simple to do this on OpenSea and similar platforms. First, you should see a button that says "Add New Item." You can upload whatever art you want to be turned into a token when clicking on this.
OpenSea supports various files, including image, audio, and 3D. You can choose from multiple file extensions as well. Depending on the site you use, there may be a limit to how big your art piece can be. In the case of OpenSea, it's 100MB. Keep that in mind if you have a video file or another format where the size can be more significant.
Once you upload the file, you can name it. It's your art, so give it a name that matters! Once you do so, you can mint it. In NFT lingo, minting means you're publishing it. On OpenSea, you can mint as many tokens as you like, but you must mint them individually.
Before minting, you must also choose if it will be stand-alone or an edition. Let's describe what this means.
A stand-alone token means that this token is one of a kind. There is no other token like it. Many will use a stand-alone token for art that they feel genuinely shines. It can create more demand and more people who will pay extraordinary amounts for your art.
With The Edition, you sell multiple tokens of the same art piece. However, each token has its place in the blockchain. By adding what edition number it is, you can still give an NFT buyer a sense of owning something rare. After all, you may only have 100 editions, and once they're gone, they're gone.
Afterward, you can add other properties to your NFT. When collectors search for NFTs, they may use these properties to filter out NFTs that are irrelevant to them, which can increase your chances of finding a buyer. Add as many details as necessary from the date created to what type of art it is.
One thing you can do is add information to your social media, such as your Twitter, Discord, or other relevant pages. This way, your new fans will know where to go if they want to see the latest and most extraordinary art for you.
Once you have everything good to go, click "Create." You may need to pay some ETH for gas fees, so be mindful of that. After everything is good to go, you have your NFT to the blockchain, and there's nothing that can take that away.
You've created your NFT, but it's still not for sale yet. So the first thing you need to do is select what tokens you accept for your NFT and what royalties you want regarding any secondary sales. Accepting a variety of tokens may attract more buyers, but you may want to focus on just one or two tokens. A low royalty fee may attract buyers looking to resale with royalties, but you may not get much of a kickback.
OpenSea has a system similar to eBay, where you can choose to list your NFT as an auction or at a fixed price. You can check out some of the cool NFTs that they have listed already.
If you've never sold on eBay, listing your item as an auction can be good, as it can drive several potential buyers to compete for your art piece. Sometimes, they may pay more than expected so that the piece can be theirs. But, on the other hand, if it does not attract too many people, the winner may be someone who pays less.
A fixed price means that the first person who pays the listed amount obtains the NFT. It's simple, but it allows for less bartering or competition. There is no wrong answer, and you may want to try both to see what works for you.
Afterward, you can officially list your NFT for sale. However, you may need to pay another gas fee if this is your first time, so be aware.
NFT sellers are like any other seller online. To succeed, they need to promote their artwork to reach the right people and to help build a fanbase. So whether you're advertising on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, another platform, or even your own site, be sure to link to your artwork.
Online promotion is another article for another day, but we will say that you want to find your niche and target them through paid ads, word of mouth, or another form of advertising.
With that, this is how you create and sell an NFT. It's pretty simple, and it's an exciting marketplace you need to take advantage of while the iron is hot.
Some may feel like they're too late to the market, but remember, the market is still young. Chances are, you've only heard about NFTs for around a year. It's still an evolving market, meaning that you have time to join, watch its evolution, and take advantage of it. By joining now, you can get an edge over artists who will join much later.
Before we go, here are some FAQs if you have any more questions.
Nope! NFT marketplaces do all the heavy lifting for you, meaning that you simply need to upload it to the market, pay applicable fees, and you're good to go. However, with your art, it's up to you. Do you want to paint your own picture? Create a unique video? Craft a 3D object? Some people will use AI generation to create NFTs, requiring coding, but you don't need it to sell NFTs that last.
An NFT is part of the crypto world, but it's not exactly a cryptocurrency. The difference is that it's not interchangeable like cryptocurrencies are. The non-fungible in NFT means that you cannot alter it in any way, and it's a unique property, something that cryptocurrencies have different. For example, you can exchange a bitcoin for another one without affecting the value, but you cannot exchange NFTs like that.
Think of NFTs as the product and cryptocurrencies as the money used to buy it.
The NFT market is exciting, yet for transparency, we'll tell you there are risks, just like any market. When you sell your art as NFTs, you face several risks, including:
Any market is speculative, but the NFT market is even more so. Investors are spending a lot for quick returns, but that market can implode after a bit. As an artist, you might sell your NFT in a period where the market is down, meaning you may not be able to earn as much. With that said, speculation can work in your favor as well. Sometimes, the risk pays off.
Gas Fees Can Be High
As we mentioned in this article, gas fees can be volatile, meaning you may end up paying little or a lot depending on how many transactions are going on. You may charge more for the NFT to make up for the money lost with gas fees, which can turn away potential buyers.
On the other hand, you may charge the average amount, meaning gas fees can take a bite into profits. So always do your research on gas fees and calculate accordingly.
Many other people are selling their NFTs. Therefore, as an artist, you do need to put in work to promote your artwork and build a fanbase. Building a fanbase and promoting your art can take a lot of time and money, which is a risk in itself. If you try to sell without a fanbase or promotion, it's unlikely you'll find a buyer.
NFTs are sold on peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplaces, giving some eager buyers and sellers a decentralized market. OpenSea is one of the biggest names in NFT marketplaces, but others, including Rarible, Maker's Place, and SuperRare for exclusive NFTs. Unfortunately, because of the complexity of blockchain technology, you cannot sell them on your own website without linking to the marketplace.