How To Mint an NFT - A Step-by-Step Guide To Creating Your First NFT

How To Mint an NFT - A Step-by-Step Guide To Creating Your First NFT

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Favor Onuoha

Published on Dec 20, 2021

14 min read

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Table of contents

Introduction

If you’re reading this, then that means you’ve heard about this new buzzword called NFTs!

In the past few months, NFTs sales have been surging in the millions of dollars, making it the new talk of the town!

No, I mean seriously, 16-year-olds are launching NFT collections and becoming millionaires overnight without even knowing how to code.

Owning a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT today is more profitable than whatever investment your local bank can offer you.

Bored Apey Yacht Club NFT

The hype is real and more and more people like Jay Z and Elon Musk have joined the NFT club, and hey, we know you don’t want to miss out, so let's mint your first NFT.

What is an NFT?

NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token” and is a digital asset that exists on a blockchain.

NFTs provide more secure proof of ownership to a digital asset.

NFTs are secured on a decentralized blockchain which lets them leverage the full power of a decentralized network, making them impossible to change and less likely to fraudulent attacks.

I’m going to bet that some of y’all are probably thinking to yourselves; “What is this Non-Fungible thing?”.

I know, those words make as much sense as the story of the “Big Bang Theory” makes to the average person.

However, understanding what fungibles and non-fungibles mean is the next big step to realizing what makes NFTs different from other blockchain-related techs.

How do they work?

NFTs are Smart Contracts that contain some sort of data that usually consists of

  • The name of the NFT
  • A description
  • An image URL points to the data representing
  • Any other random data

This data is often referred to as Metadata.

Here is an example of an NFT metadata below:

{
  "name": "My Awesome NFT1",
  "description": "Description of my awesome NFT",
  "image": "ipfs://a link to some image/1.png",
  "dna": "41b505f4318b7f469c47f1abbba0431f7d0abc50",
  "edition": 1,
  "date": 1638621464656,
  "attributes": [
    {
      "trait_type": "Background",
      "value": "Black"
    },
    ...
  ]
}

Smart Contracts are programs that are stored and executed on a blockchain.

Smart Contracts allow us to create trustless systems that remove human beings as middlemen, letting the system become more autonomous.

Smart Contracts are written in a language called Solidity.

Smart Contracts allow developers/creators to create decentralized programs (no central point of storage and control), can never be taken down, and is free from external control and not regulated by any one single entity.

Non-Fungible?

Anything that is fungible can be traded or exchanged for the same thing in value or likeness.

Bitcoin and money are fungible items!

For example, 1 BTC will always equal 1 BTC and $10 will always equal $10 hence the reason for their classification.

If you read that right, you would start to see the handwriting on the wall about the explanation of non-fungible items.

Anything non-fungible is unique and cannot be exchanged for the same thing and, also can’t be divided or traded in parts.

Non-fungible items have unique properties that make no two non-fungible items ever equal to the other.

Artworks and paintings are popular examples of non-fungible items.

They can be exchanged for other artworks and paintings but the properties and features that they have will always be unique.

Let’s say, for example, you own a painting of The Mona Lisa right now.

If you bought your painting from your local pawn shop, then you can bet your entire career that your painting of The Mona Lisa is not the original painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Now Imagine someone took your painting of The Mona Lisa and put it in the same room as the real painting of The Mona Lisa!

Even though they both look alike and there are two of them in the room, there essentially is still only one Mona Lisa in existence.

What can be an NFT?

Anything digital can be an NFT but most preferably, media files like images and videos are the most commonly used NFT types out there.

This is due to the rise in popularity of NFT Collections and projects like the CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs which are nothing more than just PNG image files and which have sold out for millions of dollars.

cryptopunks nft

More examples of items that can be used as NFTs include:

Citizen DAO NFT

  • Academic certificate.
  • Your work contract.
  • You’re ex’s Whatsapp history.

What does it mean to mint and NFT?

Minting, in its most basic form, means to create anything on a blockchain.

Sounds super easy right?

Yes and No, minting an NFT on a blockchain can be done in two ways which are by:

Lucky for you, this won’t be a coding tutorial!

Using an NFT marketplace is the easiest way to create an NFT for yourself with ease and in less than 5 mins.

What are NFT Marketplaces?

NFT Marketplaces are platforms that enable you to both create an NFT and also sell your NFTs.

Marketplaces are the easiest way to get started with minting your first NFT without writing any code.

There are some very important concepts to understand about NFTs and NFT marketplaces:

Networks

As we already know, NFTs exist on blockchains!

Each blockchain runs on a network that governs the blockchain.

Only blockchains that have Smart Contract functionality can support NFTs.

Remember that boomer Bitcoin? Yh!

Bitcoin at the moment does not support Smart Contracts and hence does not support NFTs, meaning that you can’t create an NFT on the Bitcoin network.

The Ethereum blockchain, however, is by far the most popular hub for minting NFTs at the moment.

A large majority of NFT projects are built on the Ethereum blockchain but this trend of building on the Ethereum blockchain has been tanking due to surging Ethereum Gas Prices.

Popular NFT networks include:

  • Ethereum
  • Polygon
  • Solana
  • Waves

Top NFT Minting Platforms

There are quite a few minting platforms out there where you can mint your first NFT, but here are some of the best ones:

Let’s get minting! - Step by step guide to minting your first NFT

Alright! To those of you saying to yourselves, “are we going to get this thing over with?” I have great news for you, now that you understand the basics of what an NFT is and how it works, it's now time to look at how you can mint one.

I’ll be teaching you how to do this using OpenSea as our NFT marketplace. There are however a few requirements for you to be able to mint an NFT.

The Wallet

For our guide, we will be using MetaMask which you can download on your mobile phone on both Android and iOS, or, you could just simply install it as a browser extension.

Go to MetaMask and Install the MetaMask Wallet extension.

go to metamask

Right after installing MetaMask, you’ll be asked to either recover your previous wallet by using your Secret Recovery Phrase or create a new one. For this example, we are going to create a new wallet.

create a new wallet

Awesome!

Now you’re done with that, you’ll get this boring screen that just basically asks you to grant MetaMask permission to track your activity, you know… the usual Web2 stuff ;) I'll leave this part to you.

metamask permission

Great! Now we’re done with that, the next “not so boring thing to do” is to create a very very strong password. It doesn’t have to be very strong but you know, being hacked isn’t so fun lol.

create a password

Sweet! Now we are at the most important stage of our MetaMask setup.

Your Secret Recovery Phrase is a 12-word phrase that MetaMask uses to identify and generate your wallets.

If you lose this 12-word phrase, your next login will be impossible.

Keep this phrase safe and, never share it with anyone. Compromising your secret phrase can let hackers access your account and all your funds. I’m sure you know how that's going to end.

secret recovery phrase

Fantastic! We’re almost done with our wallet setup!

Next, we need to confirm our wallet’s secret recovery phrase. This is just an extra measure MetaMask makes to make sure that you’ve backed up or have stored your 12-word phrase.

confirm wallet secret recovery phrase

Nice!

We have successfully set up our wallet. The next step is to use that wallet.

Depending on whatever Web Browser that you’re using, MetaMask will be installed as an extension.

If you’re using Chrome, Brave, or Firefox, the MetaMask extension will probably show up at the top right corner of your web browser window.

metamask chrome extension

If you can’t find the MetaMask icon, then it's probably because your browser hides new extensions by default.

To pin this back, you’ll have to click on the puzzles or cube icon, then find the MetaMask icon and click on the “Pin” button next to the MetaMask Icon.

Great!, now when clicked, you should see a screen that looks just like this

metamask icon

The Marketplace

For this next step, we’ll be using OpenSea as our marketplace to mint our NFT to the wallet we just created. OpenSea is a great place for a first start, they are easy to use and all you have to do is link your wallet!

Go to OpenSea , and click on the wallet icon at the far right of the page. It should look something like this.

Opensea wallet icon

You will then be asked to select a wallet. For this guide, we are using MetaMask, so select just that.

select metamask

Awesome! Now you’ve selected MetaMask, go ahead and select a wallet and we are good to go!

select an wallet

Fantastic! Now that your wallet is linked up, It’s then time for you to set up your OpenSea profile!

On OpenSea, click on the user icon at the far right. If it's your first time doing this, you will receive a MetaMask prompt to authorize your wallet access to OpenSea.

authorize your wallet

Click the “Sign” button and now you'll be able to see your profile overview, click on the “settings icon” button to view your profile settings.

This step is optional though, so carry on and update your details if you mind. Since the seller information shows up on the marketplace, it is beneficial to have a nice profile setup.

settings icon

And then…

icon

The Mint

That’s right folks, you read that right! The moment we’ve all been waiting for for the past 6 minutes or so! It's finally time to mint our first NFT! First, click on “Create” on the top right on OpenSea, you will then see something like this

click on create on the top right

Great now, here is some stuff to look out for:

Name

Over here, you’re just going to specify the name of your NFT, nothing much. Put in some great name like say “My first every super NFT”; sounds great, right? I’ll let you get creative.

You can use the external link to specify or add any special resource you think may be of importance to your NFT. The link will be included in your NFT’s metadata and can be read by any dApp trying to access your NFT.

Description

Tell OpenSea and everyone what your NFT is all about.

You can get creative over here and even use some of them good markdown code.

If you’re wondering what markdown code is, then don’t worry too much, it's just this cool code thing programmers love to use to transform their write up and hey! You can use it too.

Collection

Collections are how OpenSea and a ton of other marketplaces organize their NFTs. Creators can create collections with thousands of NFTs in them and put them all for sale under one umbrella.

It's a great way to organize your NFTs and create a sense of belonging and value for your NFTs.

For this guide, we won’t be creating a collection because we are just learning!

Properties, Levels, Stats, and more

Alright now that we are done talking about the most important stuff we need in our NFTs, let's talk about the utility part which in case you’re wondering, is also equally as important, that is say, you want your NFT to come with some perk to whosoever will own it after you. Just note that you don’t need to set any of these, and they are to be used as utilities that someone will benefit from if they buy your NFT.

Properties and Levels allow you to add special features or traits to your NFT. This would come in useful if you’re going to have more than one NFT or you’re dealing with a collection of NFTs. You can set special traits and better distinguish each NFT, giving it more value as people start to trade with them.

select traits and properties

Stats lets you set a numerical value for each of the traits you define for your NFT. Here you can get creative and get even get all game-ee (if you know what I mean), for example, you could say “Talking Power: 10000”. Just get creative!

Let me speed through… Unlocked Content lets you put in a key in your NFT that a second-hand buyer will receive if they have your NFT. This is something great if you’re looking to give someone an access key to your site or some promo code that only a holder of that NFT can access.

You know a lot of artists these days are getting well… full over creative and may sometimes just go overhead, which is perfectly normal in the world of art! But for some of us who may need a little bit of warning beforehand, the Explicit & Sensitive Content check is there to alert us in case there is something that might be a bit graphic or too eye-opening (if you know what I mean).

The supply lets you mint more than one unique NFT of the same Collection and metadata.

choose the supply

Blockchain

OpenSea lets you mint NFTs to two blockchains at the moment.

The first is the Ethereum blockchain, which we are using and the second is the Polygon Blockchain which is a layer 2 chain built with the Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM.

For this guide, we will be using the Ethereum Chain, so leave that as it is.

Also yeah, forget about the Freeze metadata part for now :)

freeze metadata

Now fill in all those tasty details, and when you’re done, hit “Create”!

Hitting Create will immediately mint the NFT to your wallet, so congratulations, you have officially minted your first NFT.

I hope you made it something special ^.^

create your NFT

Selling your NFT

Now you have your NFT that's just there sitting in your wallet, you can put it up for grabs! Let’s get into that!

Click on the "Sale" button at the top right

sale your NFT

You would then see a screen like this

Don’t worry about the other stuff; just worry only about the price! Set a price you think would be worth it and after that, click on “Complete Listing.” You should see something like this:

complete NFT listing

Now, this is the part where you need the eth! You will need to pay a one-time gas fee to be able to subsequently list more NFTs. Since this is a guide, I will not be spending any real eth, but hereon, you have learned how to mint an NFT.

FAQs

Let's answer some frequently asked questions about NFTs!

Question

How much does it cost to mint an NFT?

Answer

Depends on the marketplace! If you’re minting on OpenSea for instance, then the mint cost is free.

Question

What does it mean to mint an NFT?

Answer

To mint anything on a blockchain, just means to create. So by minting, you are creating something new on the blockchain.

Question

Can someone simply clone your NFT with the same Image?

Answer

Technically, Yes!, but no one can have the version you have. Yours will still be unique because of the token in your wallet which is tied to just one smart contract.

TL;DR

NFTs are the next big thing in the crypto world!

With security and decentralization at their core, NFTs are game-changers in the way they handle proof of ownership, and owning an NFT can be the best investment you could make in today's crypto world.

In this article, we learned what NFTs are and what they are made of.

We then explored how they work and what makes them the coolest blockchain tech out at the moment.

Subsequently, we learned what kind of digital items can be converted into an NFT and explored the popular NFT marketplaces creators love to list their NFTs on.

Before learning how to mint an NFT, we learned how to create a wallet and set up our OpenSea profile.

Then came the moment we waited for. We minted our NFT to our wallets and finally, we learned how we can sell or list our NFT on OpenSea for other people to buy.

Conclusion

Fantastic!

Congratulations on making it to the end of this article and minting your very own NFT. NFTs are the future of the web and are becoming more embroiled in pop culture. Owning an NFT today could be your key to financial freedom!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this article! I would love to see how creative you get as you start your journeys into the world of NFTs.

Where do you go next?

We've got your back! If you want to learn more about Web3, NFTs, dApps and everything in between our web3 blog is a good place to start.

Cheers!

 
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