How to Mint an NFT: A Beginner’s Guide

By 

Josiah Makori

 on April 25, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Joel Taylor

An NFT coin on a blue grey background

What Does "Minting an NFT" Mean?

A Non-Fungible Token, often abbreviated as NFT, is a blockchain-based token proving ownership of digital artwork, in-game avatars, computer games, event tickets, collectibles, domain names, signatures, legal documents, memes, or music. In its simplest terms, minting an NFT refers to the process of converting digital files into cryptocurrency collections on a blockchain network, making them easily tradable.

Since blockchain is immutable, the digital collections cannot be edited, modified, or deleted once minted. NFT minting can be likened to fiat money-minting - only that it is done on a blockchain. Ethereum is the most popular blockchain for minting NFTs.

You can program royalties from every sale during minting to act as the commission you will receive when your digital artwork is traded on a secondary marketplace. Generally, NFT minting is a fancy word for "storing digital files on a blockchain network."

Now that you have a clear understanding of what minting an NFT is, let's discuss how the process works.

How to Mint an NFT: A Step-By-Step Process

The step-by-step process of minting an NFT is the meaty part of this article. It entails all the necessary steps of converting digital artwork into NFTs. However, there are different ways of minting NFTs based on your tools. Therefore, these steps will act as the general guidelines.

1. Choose the Type of NFT You Want to Mint

There are various types of NFTs, giving you unlimited options. They include digital artwork, in-game avatars, computer games, event tickets, domain names, signatures, legal documents, memes, and music. Besides, you can still mint an NFT for physical assets, such as valuable collectibles or photos signed by celebrities. These digital files are images, audio, and video files and can be represented in JPG, PNG, MP4, MOV, etc.

If you want to create a simple NFT, you may not need a programmer. However, if you're going to mint a complex NFT like an in-game item that requires a detailed smart contract (in-built terms and conditions for use), you may need the services of a programmer.

When minting your first NFT, ensure your offering is unique and offers value to investors. If you are a business owner, you can try minting a loyalty card or exclusive promo codes. Remember, you can hire an artist to customize a piece of art for you at a fee.

2. Choose an NFT Marketplace

Again, the blockchain space offers a wide variety of markets where you can mint your NFT. It's worth noting that each NFT marketplace has its unique advantages and disadvantages, as we will discuss in the following sub-section. Therefore, Do Your Own Research (DYOR) before settling on one. OpenSea, Rarible, and Binance NFT are among the most reputable and popular markets for NFT minting and trading.

NFT marketplaces make it easier for artists, entrepreneurs, and investors to participate in the NFT space. Some marketplaces will require you to authenticate or code your offering on the blockchain, while others like OpenSea and Rarible offer shortcuts, such as lazy minting. Lazy minting is ideal for entrepreneurs operating on limited budgets as you can avoid paying minting fees by transferring them to the buyers.

The most crucial factor you should consider when choosing an NFT marketplace is minting fees, commonly referred to as "gas" by the Ethereum community. Each market has set up its distinct fees for transactions and NFT minting. For instance, OpenSea charges users account initialization fees, which sometimes cost $100.

3. Setting up a Crypto Wallet

The third step of minting an NFT is creating a digital wallet where you will store your digital currencies and NFTs. Ensure your preferred wallet is compatible with the NFT marketplace and blockchain network you chose in step 2.

While the crypto space is not limited in terms of crypto wallets, most NFT creators use MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Enjin, and Coinbase wallets. These wallets are easy to set up and are compatible with most blockchains for minting NFTs, like Ethereum, Solana, and Binance Smart Chain.

NB: The crypto wallets listed above are browser extension wallets and are as safe as their underlying browsers. For maximum security, we recommend using hardware wallets, such as Ledger Nano X, Trezor Model T, SafePal, Ellipal Titan, Electrum, D'CENT., etc. These wallets store users' private keys offline, meaning a stranger can't access your digital assets.

4. Fund Your Crypto Wallet

After setting up a crypto wallet, you need to fund it with the cryptocurrency you will use to pay gas fees. Again, you need to sign up with a reputable cryptocurrency exchange, like Coinbase, Binance, or Kraken, where you will buy crypto. Most exchanges have a simple sign-up process and approve accounts within 24 hours.

Sign in to your crypto exchange account and purchase the crypto you need. If the NFT marketplace you chose in step 2 uses Ethereum as its underlying blockchain, you need to buy Ethereum (ETH). If it uses the Solana blockchain, purchase Solana (SOL) tokens. After that, transfer your tokens to the crypto wallet you created earlier as follows:

  • Log in to your account
  • Click on the Wallets section in the upper or lower navigation bar
  • Press "Withdraw" and select the appropriate cryptocurrency you want to transfer
  • Copy your wallet address from your crypto wallet and paste it into the "Address" section
  • Select the right network, e.g., ERC20 for ETH or Solana for SOL
  • Enter the amount you want to transfer and click "Withdraw"

That is it! You will receive your tokens in your wallet after a few network confirmations.

5. Link Your Wallet to Your NFT Marketplace & Mint

After funding your digital wallet, you need to connect it to your preferred NFT marketplace. Let's use Rarible marketplace to demonstrate this section:

  1. Sign in to your Rarible account and press "Connect Wallet" on your right-hand side.
  2. Choose your crypto wallet and give Rarible permission to access it.
  3. Press the "Connect" tab and accept the platform's service terms.
  4. Go back to your Rarible account and click the "Create" button at the top right-hand side.
  5. Select whether you want to mint one or multiple copies of your NFT offering.
  6. Upload the digital file you plan to convert into an NFT.
  7. Specify how you plan to sell your NFT, though it is optional. You can do it after creating your NFT.
  8. State whether you plan to offer a low or high-resolution version of your NFT.
  9. Select Rarible as your NFT collection.
  10. Enter your NFT title and description.
  11. State the percentage of royalties you wish to get from secondary sales.
  12. Choose your NFT's properties, such as color and size.
  13. Press the "Create Item" button.
  14. Go to your wallet and approve the requested transaction to pay gas fees.
  15. Press "Confirm," then "Upload" and "Mint Token" buttons.
  16. Approve the contract integration request in your crypto wallet – you will be charged a small fee to create a smart contract.
  17. Sign a sell order agreement by pressing the "Sign" tab in your wallet.

Wow, you have successfully minted your first NFT! To view it, open your profile and select "My Items."

Platforms for Minting NFTs

Since there are multiple NFT minting marketplaces, we will only discuss the best three:

OpenSea

OpenSea is the most popular NFT marketplace, hosting BAYC and Azuki NFTs. NFT minting in this platform is straightforward. OpenSea offers various types of NFTs, like virtual worlds, collectibles, art, photography, and audio recordings. Additionally, it supports Ethereum, Polygon, and Klatyn blockchains. The platform charges 2.5% of each transaction and allows creators to set up to 10% fees in royalties.

Rarible

Rarible is ideal for minting and selling art and photography NFTs. It supports Ethereum, Flow, and Tezos networks. You can save a lot if you opt for the Tezos blockchain, as it costs just $0.5 to mint NFTs. Besides, Rarible's lazy minting tool allows creators to mint NFTs for free by transferring the minting fees to buyers. With the RARI governance token, you will also participate in shaping the future of Rarible.

Binance NFT

The Binance NFT marketplace is ideal for creators who want to mint NFTs on a future-proof platform. It charges 1% for every transaction and 0.005 BNB for NFT minting. The good thing is that Binance will allow you to mint your first 10 NFTs freely.

Why Should You Mint an NFT?

The first benefit of minting NFTs is making your digital artwork available for investors to purchase at the earliest possible time compared to selling your work outside a blockchain network.

Secondly, by converting your physical artwork into an NFT, you will streamline its marketing, eradicate third parties, enhance its supply chain and solidify its security.

Thirdly, minting NFTs will help you fractionize ownership of your digital artworks, opening up their liquidity and discovering new prices.

Fourthly, minting NFTs will help you safely store your digital artworks on a blockchain. NFTs have individual records of authenticity and chain-of-ownership, preventing them from counterfeits.

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