If you are a crypto enthusiast, specifically, an NFT lover, the chances are high that you have heard about the term minting, and what it means in the crypto space. If you don’t, then this beginner’s guide is just for you.
In our previous publication, the first part of our 3-part series on “How to kickstart your journey into the NFT space,” we introduced our learners to the fundamentals of NFTs: what they are, the history, the underlying technology, and how they work in practical terms.
In this second part, we will take you through how to mint NFTs as a beginner, as well as how to make a profit while you’re at it. If everything we have said so far still sounds strange to you, then do yourself a favor and go through the first article here. In this article, we will start by explaining briefly what minting means and how it works.
What Is Minting?
Let’s start with a real-world example. Many football fans like to buy jerseys of their favorite team. Let’s say a fan can purchase a club jersey from any retail outlet for a fixed price of $12. This also implies that the jersey isn’t unique, and if it gets lost, you can simply purchase another for the same amount.
However, if a player wears a jersey or signs one, chances are that that jersey will not be sold for the same $12 as a regular jersey. Instead, the price rises because it is now a one-of-a-kind jersey. The process by which a player autographs a jersey may well be compared to minting a digital item in the crypto world.
In the blockchain sense of things, minting is used to describe the process of validating information, creating a new block, and recording that information into the blockchain. However, for NFTs, the process is slightly different given that an existing digital item is involved.
As such, in order to mint an NFT, an existing digital asset of any form including music, artwork, virtual property, avatar, memes, among other collectibles, is encoded with unique information such as the name of the existing holder, hash rate, mint time/date, description of an item, etc.
Once encoded with unique information, an existing digital asset is subsequently validated and hosted on the blockchain where it is then ‘blockchainized’ or ‘tokenized’ as you may choose to call it.
In other words, minting NFTs refers to the process of turning existing digital files into a crypto collectible or digital asset based on blockchain. That said, you may be wondering how exactly minting works in an NFT project?
How Does Minting Work?
To begin with, it is important to note that minting in NFT projects can be compared to mining in cryptocurrency projects; the biggest difference is that the former is actualized with an existing digital product.
Hence, for an NFT to be minted, an original copy of a digital item must be provided. This also means that the entire minting process, which is powered by blockchain technology, is carried out on this existing digital item.
By minting a digital file as an NFT, it means that the file is stored in a decentralized database or distributed ledger forever. In the same manner, it becomes impossible to edit, modify, or destroy the tokenized item.
With this in mind, minting an NFT piece requires a blockchain network or platform that can facilitate NFT tokenization. A prominent example is OpenSea, which is perhaps the biggest marketplace for NFT projects. So how does this really work? Below is a step-by-step guide.
How to Mint NFTs (and Make a Profit While You’re At It)
- Decide on Your NFT Category: The first step to minting an NFT is to choose a category to create in. These categories include art, sports, music, photography, utility cards, virtual worlds, and so on. Once you decide on the category that most interests you, it is very convenient to choose a suitable blockchain platform on which to mint an NFT piece.
2. Choose a Suitable Blockchain Platform (or Marketplace): Once you have decided on the category of your choice, you can select a suitable blockchain platform to host your digital files/items for minting purposes.
The need to choose a suitable platform to mint an NFT stems from the fact that each blockchain platform or marketplace is built with various preferences. For instance, some marketplaces accommodate a single NFT category, while others accommodate multiple categories.
As such you can decide to select an NFT-focused blockchain platform that caters specifically to your category of choice or go for an alternative that is open to all categories like OpenSea. If you are ever confused about choosing a suitable blockchain platform for NFT minting, follow this link to read about the top 10 NFT marketplace to mint and trade digital art in 2022.
3. Connect/Build Community: If you can’t build one, connect with an existing community of people who share similar beliefs and ideology about what you want to do. By creating or joining a community, a creator is able to tap into a ready market for each NFT item that is being minted, in addition to familiarizing themselves with the market.
Furthermore, the importance of community in the NFT economy cannot be overstated, as it often serves as a creator’s primary marketing resource. You might be wondering how, rather than starting from scratch with a marketing campaign, it’s easier to leverage community members as a marketing resource when it’s time to sell an NFT project.
If you are looking to build a community for an NFT project, you can try to do so on various platforms such as Discord, Reddit, Telegram, and so on. To a large extent, this approach can also save on costs that could have gone down the drain in the absence of a community.
4. Create your Digital File (Artwork or other creative pieces of choice): After creating or joining a community of like-minded people, the next step is to create your digital file. This digital file, however, can be a representation of physical objects in the real world. For instance, you can take a picture of a real-life object, thereby keeping the digital copy.
Likewise, the digital file can be created from scratch and in several forms. For instance, a music producer can create a single music file or album. A software developer can create a unique web domain/page and virtual properties. A graphics designer can create a 3D animation, and so on. Things to consider when creating a digital file include:
- Availability of materials and tools
- Accessible knowledge (check if a similar project has been executed; then study and perfect it)
- The target audience
- Special attributes such as visual, written, or audio components, file types (some marketplaces are selective in terms of file types, so be sure to confirm before you choose to convert your file to JPEG, PNG, MP4, WEBM or their likes)
- File size (this is very important because it could determine how much it will cost you to mint an item). As in most cases, the higher the file size, the higher the gas fee (the transaction fee you pay for minting).
5. Mint and Share: Once you have your digital file read, the next line of action is to mint and share it within your community, social media pages, and other related platforms for wider reach. However, as the saying goes, “it is easier said than done.” So how do you really mint an NFT?
First, you must create an account on an NFT-focused blockchain platform. We will use OpenSea as an example in this context, considering that it is the most common among NFT enthusiasts. Also, thanks to its easy-to-navigate user interface, OpenSea is a very good option for newbies. So how do you mint an NFT on OpenSea?
- Set up your profile. Typical of most NFT platforms, the first step to get started is to set up your account profile. To do this, you will be required to own or set up a digital wallet that supports NFT items.
Although there is a wide range of wallet options you can choose from, the most popular one among them is Metamask. Regardless, you can also choose other wallets including Coinbase, Fortmatic, Trust, and Walletconnect, to mention a few. While OpenSea supports up to 13 digital wallets, the majority of the platforms offer support for fewer wallets.
It’s also worth noting that the majority of digital wallets are built to work with certain NFT token standards. Metamask, for example, supports the ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155 token standards, suggesting that you may only use the digital wallet to store NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
As a result, if you want to mint an NFT on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), another blockchain platform, Metamask may not be the best digital wallet to use. Instead, you may use a Trust wallet, for example. Long story short, you also have to make sure that the digital wallet you choose is compatible with your selected blockchain platform.
- Once you set up your digital wallet, which doubles as your storage facility for NFT items as well as cryptocurrency (used in facilitating exchange), you can proceed to sync it with the NFT marketplace. In this case, you are syncing your digital wallet to the OpenSea marketplace. You can learn more about the crypto wallets you can use on OpenSea here, and how to sync your digital wallet to your OpenSea account here.
- After you’ve finished syncing your wallet with your OpenSea account, you may proceed to the marketplace and create an NFT collection. To do this, go to your profile and click “My Collection,” then “Create” to start a new collection. At this point, your new collection will be made up of the logo image, the featured image, and the banner.
On the same page, you will come across a request form that requires you to provide specific details such as the URL of your collection on OpenSea, the description, category, and links to your website and social networks. You will also be asked to fill in other requirements such as your payout address, and royalties.
Talking about royalties, a creator is entitled to a percentage of the profits made from the resale of a digital item. Thus, you are required to determine the percentage from the onset, albeit, not more than 10%.
- Once you are done filling out the request form, you can then proceed to mint your first item. To do this, go to your collection and:
- Click on the “Add Item” at the top right bar.
- Proceed to upload your existing digital file ranging from audio, images, or 3D models.
- Afterwards, add unique details to the added item such as title, theme, and other tailored descriptions.
- Once you are done adding a description, choose the collection in which the NFT piece will appear and fill in the level of minting speed. However, note that the higher the level, the higher the transaction fee.
- Add other necessary stats to your NFT; these stats are made up of numerical traits that are displayed as numbers.
- You are almost done! Now choose between the following options: ‘unlockable content’ and ‘explicit and sensitive content.’ If you choose the first option, for instance, you can decide to set up a lottery in your NFT and put the winner hidden in unlockable content, meaning that the item can only be revealed by the item owner. On the other hand, the second option suggests that the content is adult-themed and may not be safe for users under age 18 (for instance).
- Finally, choose the preferred supply, which represents the number of copies that can be minted in a collection as well as the issuing blockchain.
- Once you have completed all these steps, click “create.” Once the minting is completed, you can decide to hodl the item or offer it for sale. Mind you, OpenSea withholds 2.5% of all transactions on the platform as part of its revenue-generating model. You are good to go!
- Connect with Buyers and Sellers: The last step here is to explore the market for amazing opportunities. As a buyer, you can look out for NFTs you like and buy from the current holder using acceptable crypto assets as a medium of exchange. On the other hand, if you are the holder, you can put up your NFT item for sale and make a profit while at it.
That brings us to the end of this guide. You can look out for the third part of our three-part series in the coming days. In the next article, we will discuss how to build a community around an NFT project as well as how you can leverage community-building as a marketing/awareness tool. In the meantime, feel free to share your opinion in the comment section below.