If you’re a digital artist, collector, or cryptocurrency investor, chances are you’ve already heard of the gigantic strides NFTs are making in the online economy. The NFT market currently stands at around $3 billion and it’s estimated to soar to $13.6 billion in the next 5 years.
NFTs have proven their mettle in empowering creators to earn money from their art. They can also be promising crypto investments — when chosen wisely.
Before you jump into the NFT universe, you need to consider how to sell NFT assets securely. We’ve covered everything you need to know in this complete guide, from understanding the fundamentals of NFTs to hunting down the best ways to mint your own NFTs. Let’s get started!
What are NFTs?
First things first. NFT simply stands for “Non-Fungible Token”. An NFT is a unique digital token that’s linked to a virtual or real-world entity. But what makes it unique?
You can tie your artwork to an NFT, and whoever purchases it becomes the bona fide owner of the art. A distributed ledger called the blockchain records all NFTs. Several kinds of blockchains exist, each with a distinct architecture and purpose. The NFT creator chooses a blockchain type when creating it.
At their core, a blockchain is a group of digital blocks that records every single token transaction immutably. No one can tamper with the token, so it’s a fool-proof way to transact.
NFTs are a great way to monetize just about anything in the digital or real world, including:
- Game characters
- Graphic art
- Social media posts
- Audio clips
- Real-world objects
People have tokenized real-estate properties, priceless artifacts, invites to exclusive events and clubs, and even virtual pets. Yes, CryptoKitties is a thing. If you missed all the hype, it’s a game where players breed digital cats and trade them on the Ethereum blockchain.
Each time you buy or sell an NFT, you exchange sensitive information over the internet. If you don’t protect your internet connection, cybercriminals can snoop on your activity and steal your data. Use CyberGhost VPN to secure your data with military-grade 256-bit encryption, keeping it safe from prying eyes even on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
The Pros and Cons of NFT Art
NFT art can be lucrative. One of the most expensive NFTs sold for $69.3 million at the well-known auction house Christie’s in 2021. The NFT’s creator, Beeple, called it Everydays: The First 5000 Days. The artwork traces his evolutionary journey as a digital artist.
Pak, one of the highest-paid NFT artists, sold Clock for $52.8 million in 2022. The NFT depicts a timer recording the number of days Julian Assange has spent so far in prison. The proceeds went to help pay for Assange’s ongoing legal costs.
It’s imperative to consider both sides of the coin: while some NFTs have become legendary, others barely sell. One thing’s certain, though, they’re here to stay.
Let’s explore some more pros and cons of NFT art:
NFTs — Pros
You can use NFTs to:
- ✅ Sell your artwork, photographs, videos, music, drawings, or other creations.
- ✅ Get a good return on your investment (when you invest wisely).
- ✅ Own a piece of history — NFTs make classic digital collectibles.
- ✅ Guarantee authenticity of your creations using the power of the blockchain.
NFTs — Cons
When you choose to make and sell NFTs, you should be aware of the risks associated with blockchain-based technologies. For example:
- ⛔ NFT prices can fluctuate widely (like cryptocurrencies and other digital tokens).
- ⛔ Blockchains such as Ethereum use a lot of energy, which has a significantly negative environmental impact.
- ⛔ NFT scams and poor investing decisions can cause you to lose money.
How Much Does It Cost to Mint Your NFT?
“Minting” is the act of registering an NFT on the blockchain. When any transaction takes place on the live blockchain, you or the buyer will get charged a fee. This includes both minting the token and selling it to someone else. The fee goes to the miners who provide computing resources to process transactions on the blockchain.
Right from the point you mint an NFT, the blockchain tracks it every time it changes hands, and it does so in a tamper-proof way. In this way, every transaction is transparent.
Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchains for NFTs. The blockchain calls its transaction fee “gas”. The gas fee you pay to mint or sell your NFT varies widely, depending on the blockchain congestion when you initiate the transaction. What’s more, paying the gas fee is no guarantee your minting transaction will go through. If the transaction fails, you’ll still get charged for gas.
The marketplace you choose to list and sell your NFT on will also charge a certain percentage of the sales as their commission. The total cost of a NFT includes the minting fees, commission, plus any costs associated with creating the digital asset you’re selling. It’s important to keep this in mind when working out the selling price of your NFT.
Can You Mint an NFT for Free?
You can create an NFT for free in a process called “lazy minting”. You list a token for sale but only mint the NFT when someone buys it. The selling price of the NFT includes the minting cost.
The great thing about lazy minting is that you can focus on creating NFTs for your artwork without having to worry about up-front expenditure. The technique makes it possible for more developers and creators to enter the space and experiment with NFT art, bringing it within everyone’s reach.
I talk more about lazy minting and how you can use this technique below.
How Do You Make and Sell NFTs?
OpenSea and Rarible are two of the most popular NFT marketplaces. Both are super easy to get started with. Each offers a choice of blockchains, including Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow.
I’ll now go through how to mint an NFT for free using Rarible and the lazy minting technique I mentioned in the last section.
Step 1: Set up Your Wallet
You need a digital wallet to access your digital tokens and cryptocurrencies. You can choose from a wide range of wallets, but MetaMask and Coinbase are two of the most widely used. Different wallets support different cryptocurrencies, so make sure you choose one that is compatible with the blockchain you use. For this tutorial, I’ll be using MetaMask.
On the MetaMask homepage, click the Download button and follow the instructions to download the MetaMask browser extension or smartphone app.
Once you’ve completed the installation, click Get Started, and set up your new wallet. When prompted, click the Create a Wallet button.
MetaMask will ask you to create a password for your wallet. Remember to create a strong password and store it securely.
MetaMask will then present you with a unique “seed phrase” — a recovery code made up of 12 random words. You have to use the words in the correct order.
Make sure you store the wallet seed phrase somewhere safe. If you lose this code, you won’t be able to regain access to your wallet and your funds. Always back up your codes!
MetaMask will ask you to reenter the seed phrase to confirm authentication. It will then create your wallet.
Step 2: Link Your MetaMask Wallet to Rarible
Before you can create your NFT, you need to link your MetaMask wallet to your Rarible account.
Open Rarible, and click Connect wallet.
Make sure you’re logged into MetaMask on your computer. MetaMask will throw up a pop-up to confirm the connection with Rarible. Click Next, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Once you’ve linked your MetaMask wallet with Rarible, you can enter additional information on your Rarible profile. Enter your desired display name and email address, then click Finish sign-up.
That’s it! You now have everything you need to create your very first NFT!
Step 3: Create Your NFT and List it for Sale
Now for the most exciting part! On Rarible, click the Create button.
Rarible will prompt you to select the blockchain you want to use to create your NFT. Pick one that meets your requirements. Don’t forget to consider the carbon footprint of different blockchains!
Rarible lets you choose from 5 blockchains: Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Flow, and Tezos.
Each blockchain supports a specific cryptocurrency and type of token. Different blockchains and cryptos are not cross-compatible.
Ethereum is one of the most widely used blockchains for minting NFTs. This makes it easy for prospective buyers, as they can simply use the ether cryptocurrency in their wallets to purchase your NFT. If you use a different blockchain, the buyer will need to trade some ether, bitcoin, or other crypto for your NFT’s respective blockchain-specific cryptocurrency before they can purchase your NFT.
That doesn’t mean the other blockchains lack merit, though. The Polygon blockchain, for example, has much lower gas fees than Ethereum and faster transactions.
The computing power required to process transactions on a blockchain is significant. Ethereum is one of the worst offenders when it comes to power consumption. Other blockchains, such as Polygon, are more environmentally friendly.
Once you’ve decided on a blockchain, you need to choose the type of NFT you want to create. You can either create a single-edition NFT (a one-of-a-kind edition) or a multiple-edition NFT (with several tokens shared by a community). Only the Ethereum blockchain currently supports multiple-edition NFT.
The next screen will ask you to upload the digital file you want to link to the NFT. This could be an image, a video, or graphic artwork. Supported file formats include MP4, GIF, PNG, WEBP, and MP3. Make sure your file is less than 100 MB in size.
Scroll down this screen to choose how you want to sell your NFT. Rarible currently offers 3 selling models:
- Fixed-price: Set a fixed, non-negotiable price for your NFT. If someone wants to buy your NFT, they make that exact payment and purchase it.
- Open for bids: Choose this option if you want buyers to bid for your NFT. You’ll receive multiple offers, and you can choose the one you want to accept.
- Timed auction: Choose a minimum price for your NFT and open an auction for a specified duration of time.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to the best pricing model, it’s time to specify the price. Enter the desired price for your NFT in your chosen currency. Note that Rarible will charge both you and the buyer 2.5% of the NFT price when processing the transaction, so price your NFT accordingly.
You can also add special bonus content at this stage. This could be an exclusive download, access to a secret portal, a high-resolution version of the file — anything you’d like unlocked for the buyer once they make their purchase.
Rarible also allows you to add NFTs to “collections.” This lets you organize your artworks into albums. You can also list your NFT in a public collection.
Make sure the Free minting toggle switch is on to create a free NFT. This way, you’ll list the NFT right away, but the minting transaction will only take place when someone buys it. The buyer pays the gas fee, so you don’t have to make an investment upfront.
Specify a name for your NFT. Remember to create a catchy name to draw interest. People create thousands of NFTs each day, so it’s easy for an NFT to drown in an already overcrowded space.
Add in a description of what your NFT is all about. This is an optional field, but I highly recommend completing it to garner more visibility.
Finally, specify a royalty percentage for future sales. What’s great about NFTs is that you, the original creator, can continue to share the sales profits when your NFTs change hands in the future. This is a balancing act though — you don’t want to charge a huge royalty, leaving little room for traders to earn money when selling your NFT.
Now for the most critical step. Brace yourself, for you are finally ready to create your first NFT! Take a deep breath, and click the Create item button.
Rarible now begins the multi-phase NFT creation process. At this stage, your digital file gets uploaded to the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System). This is a distributed network of nodes around the world that store your file in a near-indestructible form. It’s like your favorite cloud storage, only more robust and secure.
You’ll also receive a pop-up from MetaMask to authorize the transaction. Make sure you confirm it to get your NFT listed on the Rarible marketplace.
That’s it — your NFT is now created and listed for sale on Rarible. Give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve earned it!
You can sell your NFT art anonymously, as minting and selling an NFT doesn’t mandate you to reveal who you are at any stage. For an extra layer of security, use a VPN to protect your identity.
CyberGhost VPN hides your IP address and replaces it with an IP from one of our servers. Our strict No Logs policy means we don’t track or store your connection logs or data. What’s more, CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania, one of the most privacy-friendly nations on the planet.
What is the Best Marketplace for Selling NFTs?
While I chose Rarible to walk you through the steps to create your own NFT, the process is much the same on other marketplaces. However, some platforms might charge you an initialization fee to use their services.
Some of the most popular NFT marketplaces include:
- OpenSea: one of the largest NFT marketplaces.
- Rarible: a large, decentralized (co-owned by NFT creators) marketplace.
- Nifty Gateway: hosts celebrity NFTs and artwork.
- Coinbase NFT: Coinbase’s NFT marketplace.
- Binance NFT: a platform with some of the lowest fees.
- GameStop: a relatively new marketplace based on Loopring Layer 2 and Ethereum Mainnet.
- NBA Top Shot: basketball-themed NFT marketplace.
- SuperRare: the “art gallery” of NFTs.
You’ve now succeeded in creating an NFT but that’s just the first step in making money from your NFTs. You now need to market your NFT, share it in your social circles, and run campaigns to accelerate sales.
If you’re thinking about creating and selling NFTs regularly, but you’re short on resources, expertise, or time, you can hire an NFT art specialist on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.
How to Sell NFT Art Securely
The process of creating an NFT involves exchanging sensitive financial information such as your wallet seed phrase and cryptographic signature with remote servers (wallets, NFT marketplaces).
Consider the security of the internet network you’re using to access your wallet and NFT marketplace. It’s imperative to ensure no one is prying on your internet connection and messing with the security keys, especially when connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
A powerful VPN such as CyberGhost encrypts your internet traffic with end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption, so your data travels within a secure tunnel. This reduces the odds of cybercriminals stealing your personal information.
You can get a dedicated IP address. This is an exclusive IP address that’s not shared with anyone else. Crypto wallets and NFT marketplaces might ask you to log in every time you use a VPN. A dedicated IP lets you stay logged into these sites.
Download CyberGhost VPN now and sell NFTs worry-free.
Are NFTs the Future of Online Transactions?
NFTs are becoming more and more commonplace. Some experts speculate NFTs will openly trade in mainstream markets in the future. NFT owners will benefit from exclusive perks, like access to events, discounts, and virtual assets.
Many brands are now routinely creating branded NFTs for their customers. These serve to engage consumers at deeper levels, providing them with access to limited-edition content and the opportunity to support the businesses they love.
The Dawn of the NFT Era
You now know how to create and sell your own NFT, but your journey has only begun! Explore different types of digital assets and try out the most popular blockchains and platforms to figure out which works best for you. Who knows? Perhaps your NFT will be the next great masterpiece.
Remember to secure your online activity as you unleash your creativity. And don’t forget to use CyberGhost VPN to protect your data. Bon voyage!
NFTs are non-fungible digital tokens. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, they’re one-of-a-kind — no two tokens are the same. Each NFT links to a digital file such as an image, video, drawing, or audio clip. When you purchase the NFT, you gain ownership over the file. The process of creating an NFT on the blockchain is called “minting”.
NFTs are taking the world by storm and are a great way for artists, musicians, and collectors to make money from their artwork.
Yes! When you make an NFT for free, it’s called “lazy minting” or free minting. You create an NFT and list it for sale on a marketplace without paying a transaction fee upfront. When someone buys your NFT, the token is minted, and the buyer pays the transaction fee.
You can easily make an NFT for free by using a marketplace that supports lazy minting, such as Rarible, OpenSea, or Binance NFT.
Create an NFT that has a definitive value for buyers. Provide extra perks like access to exclusive real-world events, communities, or discount codes. Make your NFT a limited edition. If it’s unique, it’s more likely to sell.
Shout about your creation! Use Twitter, TikTok, Telegram, Instagram, and Medium to get the word out.
If you’re traveling to a country that restricts cryptocurrencies and NFT platforms, use CyberGhost VPN to connect to a server in your home region. Some school and work networks also block cryptocurrency sites. Use CyberGhost VPN to get around strict firewalls and unblock websites without issues.
Each NFT marketplace has pros and cons. The best one for you will depend on your project and preferences. Do you need a free listing? How about help to promote your NFT? Some platforms offer support for NFT drops to encourage buyers to purchase NFTs early.
- Rarible lets you create and sell NFTs for free, all from a completely decentralized platform in the true spirit of the blockchain.
- OpenSea is more popular and has extensive collections of NFTs across different categories.
- Although newer than the others, GameStop’s NFT marketplace in partnership with ImmutableX is backed by a brick and mortar business.
Also consider niche platforms like NBA Top Shot, which targets basketball fans, or crypto.com, which sells NFTs from popular brands.