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How To Create an NFT — A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

13 mins
Updated by Ryan Glenn
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With the growing popularity of tokenization, many artists are looking to learn how to create an NFT. The process of creating these unique assets is actually simple and accessible. This guide will take you through what NFTs are, what types exist, and how to mint and sell NFTs on a marketplace.

Most popular platforms to manage tokenized art

To manage NFTs

Non-custodial web3 wallet to manage NFT
Explore platform on Exodus website
Price Free
Limited time offer No
Supported networks 9

COCA

MPC non-custodial wallet and debit card
COCA
Explore platform on COCA’s official website
Price Free
Limited time offer No
Earn interest No APR yet
To trade NFT

OKX NFT Marketplace

Decentralized market offering NFT trading cards & more
OKX NFT Marketplace
Explore platform on OKX’s official website
Fees Gas fee
Limited time offer Airdrop up to $10,000
Type of assets NFTs

What can NFTs represent?

An NFT can be anything since it is a digital version of a real-world, tangible item or a digital asset stored on the blockchain. The most common types of NFTs on the market include digital art and images, music, videos, game items, collectibles and trading cards, sports moments, domain names, memes, and virtual fashion items.

These diverse categories showcase the versatility of NFTs, allowing creators to seamlessly digitize and monetize their work while reaching a global audience. NFT marketplaces provide a platform for buying, selling, and trading these assets, making them accessible to a broad range of collectors and enthusiasts.

Digital art

The most popular form of NFT is art. Artists can sell their finest works online by offering digital artwork in the form of these unique assets. Many of the most valuable NFTs currently available are digital art. 

Some NFT artists have sold their art at staggering prices that rival physical artwork. An NFT collector paid $69.3 million for the digital artwork entitled “Everydays” by Mike Winkelmann (also known as Beeple), making it the most expensive NFT in history. It was sold by the Christie auction house. Beeple’s “Everydays” is a collage consisting of 5,000 drawings that reference every day over the past 13 and a half years.

And this is just one of many NFTs that have exceeded $1 million. However, many NFT collections are extremely successful and don’t require complex work from the author.

Several other NFTs, including those from the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks collections, have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The CryptoPunks collection contains 10,000 pixelated images containing punks, and it’s one of the first forms of generative digital art examples. It has been a huge success among NFT collectors. The collection was minted on the Ethereum blockchain in 2015, and each NFT is unique, with features that set it apart from other items from the collection.

Video NFTs

As with digital art, video NFTs are popular among NFT artists. GIFs and short videos have been in demand by NFT collectors. A looping, 10-second video called Crossroad, made by Beeple depicts a naked Donald Trump lying on the ground, sold for $6.6 million.

However, NBA Top Shot moments are one of the most prominent NFT success stories so far. They are part of the initial hype wave for blockchain-based art. Dapper Laps digitizes the reels under a license from the NBA. Some NFTs have highlights with digital artwork and different angles. For instance, a LeBron James highlights sold for $200,000.

Top Shot was compared with the old-school trading card model. However, in the case of NFTs, people can trade and collect rare items while having fun, without the risk of theft or damage of the trading cards.

NBA Top Shot owners will soon have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite clips in real life, thanks to a partnership with Infinite Objects.

Music NFTs

As we already mentioned, almost all art forms can be tokenized. All music tracks, artwork, text pieces, apps, files, and real-life objects (such as concert tickets or unique merchandise) can be accompanied by their own NFTs. This allows artists and content creators new ways to share their experiences with their audience.

For instance, in March 2021, Kings of Leon released their latest album, When You See Yourself, as an NFT. The bundle was $50 and included an animated cover and limited-edition vinyl. Those who purchased the bundle automatically entered a lottery for VIP concert tickets and other perks. They were the first music artists to do so. 

Most of these kinds of NFTs can be minted on an NFT marketplace. The process is easy enough and requires not more than 15 minutes of your time. The following section will guide you through the process step-by-step.

Exploring the NFT sector

The NFT ecosystem protects scarcity and establishes ownership over digital and tangible assets. This technology offers digital creators solid options to monetize their work and flexibility that is often missing in traditional creative industry models. It is safe and easy to sell digital content online by attaching it to the blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFT). Artists can create NFTs and gain unlimited support from a worldwide network of collectors.

NFT market report for January 2024: CoinPedia
NFT market report for January 2024: CoinPedia

Let’s examine the monthly revenue of three NFT marketplaces, OpenSea, X2Y2, and LooksRare, from January 2023 to January 2024. OpenSea consistently dominates the market, showing significant revenue spikes, especially in January and July 2023. X2Y2 and LooksRare, though smaller in comparison, also contribute to the growing NFT marketplace revenue, indicating a steady interest in NFTs.

This trend demonstrates the expanding popularity and increasing adoption of NFTs across various platforms, reflecting a growing number of digital assets traded and valued in the market.

According to Statista, the most popular NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has had over $10 billion in NFT sales since its existence. 

statista nft marketpalces volume in usd
Largest NFT marketplaces based on all-time sales volume: Statista

Famous NFT sales

In early 2018, Cryptokitties was one of the first NFT projects to garner attention. The game became very popular quickly, especially with the news about record-priced CryptoKitties being sold on blockchain. 

At some point, someone sold a CryptoKitty for $172,000, which caused a bottleneck on the Ethereum blockchain. This also pointed out the network’s inefficiency and inability to scale. Since then, the universe of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has expanded beyond imagination.

Exploring the NFT space

NFTs can be a bit overwhelming to newcomers. Fortunately, there are some excellent NFT tools that can make the process easier. These tools make exploring and discovering undervalued NFTs much easier.

Anyone who wishes to be an NFT artist must have a goal and creativity. Even if you aren’t as talented as Leonardo da Vinci but still have numerous ideas, it is worth creating an NFT. This could also be a good place to start for artists who have many Beeple-like works sitting in their digital studio, just waiting to be sold as NFTs.

The process of creating an NFT does not have to be complicated, expensive, or technical. Anyone can learn to make an NFT and create a digital version of their art, becoming an NFT creator.

How to create an NFT

First, you must choose an NFT platform to create and sell NFTs. Next, you’ll need a cryptocurrency wallet to mint NFTs, pay fees, and receive cryptocurrency as payment if you sell your NFTs.

Luckily, you can make and sell NFTs through many online platforms. OpenSea is a popular platform for NFT auctions.

Step 1. Create an image or a series of images

The first thing to do before learning how to make an NFT is to identify the unique digital asset that you wish to tokenize. You can use it as a meme, GIF, painting, or any of the digital assets described above. Alternatively, you can download ready-made 3D models from marketplaces such as CGTrader.

Remember that an NFT is an exclusive digital item that can only have a single owner at any given time. Remember that most NFT collections posted on NFT tools, such as Rarity, are ranked by their rarity, contributing to their value. 

Although this might be obvious, ensuring that you have the intellectual property rights for the item you are converting as an NFT is necessary. You could be in legal trouble if you create an NFT for IP that you don’t legally own.

Step 2. Pick a marketplace

To find the right platform for your NFT, you must do extensive research on each NFT marketplace. They are all different in terms of features and pricing for listing. 

Once you have chosen the digital artwork for your NFT, it is time to choose a marketplace that allows you to create your NFT on the blockchain and then sell it. 

Some of the most popular NFT marketplaces are:

For the rest of this guide, we will refer to the OpenSea NFT marketplace. However, the same steps generally apply to all platforms when creating an NFT. It’s free to sign up, and there is no restriction on what content you can list. This means that you don’t need to be approved to sell NFTs on the platform as an artist. This also means the marketplace is filled with digital sundries that nobody will ever buy.

Step 3. Set up your wallet

On OpenSea, click on the user icon (top right) and then click on Profile. On this page, you can connect your Ethereum wallet to the NFT marketplace. 

OpenSea lets users connect most of the popular crypto wallets, including MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Fortmatic, WalletConnect, and others.

openSea Ethereum wallets

Choose the wallet you have and then follow the steps to confirm the connection of your wallet. 

Many options exist, but we will use MetaMask to show you how to make an NFT. 

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ZenGo wallet can be connected to any NFT Marketplace or Web3 dapp via WalletConnect.

Step 4. Mint NFTs

The NFT marketplace should provide step-by-step instructions for uploading your digital file. This is NFT minting, a fancy word for creating an NFT. Minting will turn your digital artwork into a non-fungible token that can be sold.

NFT minting transforms a digital file into a blockchain digital asset. A digital asset registered on the blockchain cannot be modified, deleted, or edited. 

As of Oct. 2021, NFT platforms stopped charging creators for minting NFTs at the creation time. Instead of storing data on the blockchain right after creation, NFTs are minted upon purchase. The buyer pays the gas fee when buying the item. 

Did you know? The minting process is free on OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable.

NFT artists can create the assets with no upfront gas fees. However, the NFT is not transferred on-chain until the first transfer or purchase. The ERC-1155 standard used for NFTs, made with the Collection Manager on OpenSea, allows users to avoid gas fees when minting NFTs.

After connecting your ETH Wallet to OpenSea, you can create your first NFT. To create a collection, click on the Create button in the top menu.

create new nft opensea marketplace

Complete all fields and save. Now, you’re ready to begin minting your new NFT. Click on New Item to load your artwork and provide all details. At the bottom, click on Create once you are ready.

Congratulations! You have successfully created an NFT and can sell it on OpenSea. You can choose which Ethereum tokens to accept as payment. Furthermore, you can also choose to sell at an auction or fixed price. The selling page will also let you decide on royalty fees. While minting an NFT on OpenSea is free, listing it for sale requires a service fee of 2.5%.

Step 5. Get ETH for listing NFTs

All NFT marketplaces mentioned above require an upfront payment to list your NFT. They might differ from platform to platform, so each NFT artist should research each platform to find the one most suitable for their needs. 

But in the end, all users are required to pay a cryptocurrency fee for listing the digital asset and making NFT sales. This means that you will need to purchase some cryptocurrency before you can earn any cryptocurrency. Most NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea, charge fees in Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum; you want to mint an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. 

This is what it looks like to complete the listing for your NFT sales. As you can see, the platform will ask for a one-time gas fee to initialize your wallet.

listing nft on opensea marketplace

OpenSea allows NFT artists to mint NFTs on the Polygon network as well, but most choose Ethereum as it’s the platform that hosts the most NFTs minutes so far.

You will need to ensure that you have ETH in your digital wallet.

Step 6. Set up the sale process

Now that you know how to make an NFT, you have to set up the sales process. 

On OpenSea, click on the account icon (top right) > My collections. You will see your recently created NFTs. Click on the desired collection, then on the particular NFT. Next, you’ll have the option to click on Sale, on the top right. 

list nft for sale

You can, depending on which platform you use, decide on:

  • Fixed cost: Setting a fixed price, which will be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Timed auction: The asset will take bids within a set time frame
  • Unlimited auction: No time limit. Instead, you can end the auction at any time.

If you are setting up an auction, you must decide the minimum price. You also need to set your royalties to receive payments in perpetuity. Furthermore, determine how long a timed auction is held (if necessary). You should consider fees when setting the minimum price. If the price is too low, you risk losing money on sales.

The fees required to mint or sell an NFT are often expensive and complicated. There might also be a commission for the sale and a transaction fee that allows money to be transferred from the buyer’s wallet into yours. Due to volatility in cryptocurrency prices, fees can change. To ensure that you can sell your NFT at a cost that will cover all the fees, you should pay attention to what it will cost to mint and sell it.

After you finish this process, your NFT will be listed, and other collectors might start buying assets from your collections. If your asset is somehow special, you will be able to sell your NFT.

What’s the difference between an NFT and regular art?

Understanding the key differences between NFTs and traditional art can help artists and collectors navigate this evolving sector. Here are some main differences:

  • Ownership: NFTs provide a digital certificate of ownership and provenance, recorded on a blockchain, which cannot be altered. In contrast, ownership of regular art often relies on physical documents and expert verification.
  • Accessibility: NFTs can be bought, sold, and traded on NFT marketplaces, making them easily accessible to a global audience. Regular art typically requires physical galleries, auctions, and intermediaries for transactions.
  • Creation and distribution: Artists can create NFTs and distribute them seamlessly online, reaching a wider audience instantly. Traditional art usually involves more complex logistics for exhibition and sale.
  • Interactivity and innovation: NFTs can incorporate interactive elements and AI art, offering innovative experiences that traditional art cannot. This integration allows for dynamic and evolving pieces that engage viewers in new ways.
  • Liquidity and investment: NFTs offer higher liquidity as they can be traded quickly on digital platforms, providing immediate access to funds. Regular art often involves longer sales processes and less frequent transactions.

Creating an NFT is easier than ever before

Creating an NFT requires a solid understanding of blockchain technology and the various platforms for minting and selling digital assets. While the process has become easier and more popular, it’s important to note that not all NFTs sell, and fees can impact profitability. To succeed, creators should focus on producing valuable NFTs and set prices that cover associated costs. With careful planning and creativity, artists can find significant opportunities and success in the growing NFT market.

To avoid losing money, make sure you sell NFTs that other people will value and set a minimum price to cover any fees associated with the sale.

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Iulia Vasile
Iulia Vasile is a seasoned professional in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, working full-time in the field since 2017. With a background in computer engineering, she has the unique ability to write about complicated topics, including DeFi, NFTs, trading, and AI, in a way that is easy to understand. Iulia learned multiple programming languages while completing her Software Engineering degree in Bucharest at Politehnica University. Iulia brings her expertise and personal...
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