Unless you live under a rock or in a cave without access to the internet, you have likely heard the term NFT – it has been all over the news and social media lately. A NFT (non-fungible token) is a unit of data stored on the blockchain that certifies a digital asset as being unique and therefore not interchangeable. NFTs are gaining popularity as a form of digital collectible.
Transforming a regular digital asset into an NFT is referred to as minting, which tokenizes that asset on the blockchain. All NFTs are sold using cryptocurrency, so both the buyer and seller need a cryptocurrency wallet to complete the transaction.
Verified using the blockchain, NFTs have transparent history of ownership, purchases, and trades that cannot be edited and are visible by anyone. Having an NFT on the blockchain ensures that it can always be traced from the current owner all the way back to the original creator.
A wide variety of digital files can be minted as NFTs, including:
- photos, illustrations and animated GIFs
- trading cards
- video footage
- music and other audio files
- virtual items in video games, including skins, virtual currency, weapons and avatars
- real world assets that have been tokenized, including real estate, cars, racehorses and digital sneakers, etc.
As an owner of an NFT, you are in possession of a digital good. The blockchain is seen as a global source of truth as to who owns what, in a digital sense.
In this post, you will learn how to sell your photos as NFTs, step-by-step. Let’s get started.
Table Of Contents
- How to create an NFT
- Get a cryptocurrency wallet
- Fund your wallet with Ethereum
- Choose your NFT marketplace
- Connect your crypto wallet
- Create your Non-Fungible Token (NFT)
- Mint your NFT
- Understanding Ethereum gas fees?
- NFT considerations
- Tips to protect your crypto assets
- NFT Frequently Asked Questions
How to create an NFT
Creating an NFT is a relatively simple process, and does not require deep knowledge of the crypto industry. Before creating your NFT, you’ll need to decide which blockchain you want to mint it on.
Ethereum is by far the leading blockchain service for NFTs, so it makes sense to use that if you’re looking for the widest reach possible.
Here are some other blockchains that are growing in popularity:
- Binance Smart Chain
- Flow by Dapper Labs
There are separate NFT token standards, compatible wallet services and marketplaces for each blockchain. This means that if you create an NFT on the Binance Smart Chain, you can only sell it on platforms that support Binance Smart Chain assets.
Since Ethereum is by far the largest NFT ecosystem, you will need a few things to mint your NFT on the Ethereum blockchain:
- An Ethereum wallet that supports the Ethereum-based NFT token standard ERC-721. You could choose from MetaMask, TrustWallet or Coinbase Wallet.
- At least $50-100 in ether (ETH) to pay for any fees associated with listing your NFT. You may need more than this as fees can be quite costly.
Get a cryptocurrency wallet
In order to sell your photos as NFTs, you will need a cryptocurrency wallet. There are a number of wallets to choose from, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to use MetaMask. We will go through the installation process to add the Google Chrome browser extension, but the process is similar for the Android and iOS mobile applications.
Head over to metamask.io, and click the Download now button. On the next screen, choose whether you want to install the Chrome browser extension or the mobile app for iOs or Android.
Click the Install MetaMask for Chrome button to download the extension.
On the next screen, press the Add to Chrome button.
Then, click the Get Started button.
On the next screen, you can either import an existing wallet or create a new one. If you already have a wallet, you will need to enter your 12 word seed phrase to import it. Otherwise you can set up a new wallet.
For either option, follow the instructions and make sure to keep your seed phrase in a safe location.
VERY IMPORTANT: If you lose your seed phrase, you could permanently lose your crypto and any NFTs that you’ve acquired!
Fund your wallet with Ethereum
In order to interact with decentralized applications using MetaMask, you will need some Ether in your wallet. While NFTs can be sold using other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is used for the vast majority of transactions.
There are a few ways you can fund your crypto wallet, including:
- Buying directly with Wyre or direct deposit
- Transferring from another online wallet
- Connecting and transferring from an offline hardware wallet
Once you’ve funded your crypto wallet, you’re ready to proceed to the next step.
Choose your NFT marketplace
Now that you’ve created a wallet and funded it with some Ether, you are ready to select an NFT marketplace. There are quite a few of them, including:
- Nifty Gateway
In this post, we’re going to show you how to add an NFT on the popular Rarible marketplace.
Connect your crypto wallet
In order to create your account, you’ll need to first connect your wallet. Click on the Connect wallet button in the upper right-hand corner.
On the next screen, click on the wallet that you created earlier.
Create your Non-Fungible Token (NFT)
Once you’ve created and connected your wallet, click on the Create button on the top right of the screen.
Then, you will need to choose whether the item you want to create will be one of a kind or part of a series.
Single or Multiple NFT collectible
With Single and Multiple NFT collectibles you can choose how you want to list your item. With Single, you can choose from fixed price, timed auction or unlimited auction. Multiple only lets you choose from fixed price or unlimited auction.
Single – Here, you have three choices as far as selling your NFT
- Fixed price – Enter a price at which buyers can instantly purchase your NFT.
- Timed auction – Specify a period of time in which buyers can place bids. You can choose to start the auction right away or select a date and time. The expiration date of the auction can be 1, 3, 5 or 7 days. Alternatively, you can manually enter a date and time for it to end. With this option selected, you can enter a minimum bid. Any bids below this amount won’t be accepted.
- Unlimited auction – Allow users to make bids for an unspecified amount of time. With an unlimited auction, there is no minimum bid. You simply let users bid, and choose to accept or reject them.
Multiple – Here you can only choose from Fixed price or Unlimited auction.
Once you’ve decided how you want to sell your NFT, you’re ready to upload an image of it, and add any relevant details.
Upload file – Upload a PNG, GIF, WEBP, MP4 or MP3 (maximum file size is 30MB).
Price – If you selected fixed price as your listing type, enter the price for a single piece in Ether. You can see the amount you will receive in dollars below (after the service fee is taken).
Minimum bid – If you’re selling a single NFT collectible and you selected timed auction, enter a minimum bid amount. Then, specify a starting and expiration date for your auction.
Unlock once purchased – If you’d like to include special content for the buyer after they’ve bought your NFT, you can do so. For a photo NFT, this could include a link to the high-resolution image or a free signed photo print shipped to them (you can specify that a free print only applies to the first buyer).
Choose collection – Select whether you’d like to use your own token. By default, Rarible is selected and that is what most people seem to use.
Name – Give your NFT a name.
Description – Enter a detailed description of your NFT, including any information about special items unlocked upon purchase.
Royalties – Enter a percentage for royalties paid to you (applicable for all subsequent sales of your NFT).
Number of copies – Enter the number of tokens you want to create for your NFT.
Properties – You can add some properties for your artwork, including size, medium, etc.
Once you’ve configured all options and fill out NFT details, click the Create item button.
Mint your NFT
Now, you will need to mint the item and pay the ETH gas fee to put it on the blockchain. This fee can be pricey, so you will want to see what it currently is, and wait if it’s very high. Generally, weekends seem to be less expensive when it comes to Ethereum gas prices.
OMG: I did a test minting of a new item today, and the gas fee was over $200! I didn’t go through with it and will mint the item when the price is significantly lower.
Keep in mind that it costs the same to mint a single token as it does multiples, so you will want to take that into consideration.
I think it’s best to list an item or two and try to sell them. Then, you can mint and list more items later after you get a feel for what sells, etc.
After you click the Create item button, you’ll see the following popup.
Click on the blue buttons from the top down. If this is your first transaction, you’ll have to get it approved. Then, click the button under Mint to officially create your NFT and add it to the blockchain. Then, you will have to approve the transaction in your wallet. Now your NFT is officially listed.
IMPORTANT: Gas fees are not cheap, but I read somewhere that they tend to be less expensive on the weekend. I did a test to see if there was a difference in gas when I minted a single vs. a multiple NFT, and they’re the same.
Understanding Ethereum gas fees?
In order to make any transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, you will need to pay a gas fee. These fees vary based on the complexity of a given transaction. While the amount of gas required for any given transaction remains constant, the price of that gas varies greatly.
- If the price of Ethereum increases, the average gas price goes down. On the other hand, when the value of Ethereum decreases, the average gas price goes up.
- When the demand for settlement on the Ethereum blockchain goes up, the gas price does as well. Conversely, the less demand there is, the lower the gas prices.
You will need to pay Ethereum gas fees whenever you do the following:
- Mint a truly unique (1 of 1) or multiple NFT
- Bid on an item
- Cancel a bid
- and any other transactions on the blockchain
These gas fees can be VERY expensive, so it’s wise to check the fees BEFORE you go ahead and mint your NFT.
You can easily check the ETH gas prices at GAS NOW.
When selling your photos as NFTs, there are a number of things to take into consideration. Since you’re just getting started, you will need to think about specific details of your listings.
Pricing your NFTs
This is a tricky subject, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. How you price your NFTs depends on a number of factors, including:
- Are you well-known in the art world?
- What kind of following do you have?
- Have you sold physical pieces before?
- Is the piece you’re selling a limited or open edition?
My suggestion is to put a couple pieces up and experiment with different price points. Make sure that your minimum price more than covers your gas fee, as well as fees charged by the NFT marketplace you’re using. There have been cases of people actually losing money on NFTs they sold because they didn’t account for fees.
Don’t view selling NFTs as a get rich quick scheme, because they don’t exist. While there are numerous artists making a killing selling NFTs, this should be regarded as the exception, not the rule.
NFT edition size
When creating your first NFT, you may wonder whether to create a one-of-a-kind piece or an open edition consisting of multiple tokens. Again, I would experiment and maybe try 1 or a couple of each.
With my first NFTs, I made open editions each consisting of 3 pieces. I don’t have any bids yet, but we’ll see what happens.
Type of NFT sale
As mentioned earlier, on Rarible you can create an NFT either as a single limited edition or an open edition with multiple pieces. Choose whether you want to hold a timed (only with single NFT) or unlimited auction, or to sell pieces at a set price.
Again, I think it makes sense to just experiment. There is no right or wrong way to list an NFT, and you’ll hopefully gain some insight and see what works best for you and your digital creations.
Tips to protect your crypto assets
There are a lot of hackers and scammers in the crypto space, so it’s important to protect yourself. Here are some tips to help keep your digital assets safe.
Keep your seed phrase safe
Never share your seed phrase with anyone and make sure you store it completely offline. You should write it down or print it out on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere safe. Hackers can gain access to your devices in a number of ways, so make sure you don’t have your seed phrase on any of them.
Use a cold wallet when possible
Make sure you keep the majority of your crypto assets in a cold wallet (also referred to as a hardware or offline wallet). Offline wallets should be used to hold the majority of your cryptocurrency and NFTs. You should keep your cold wallet in a secure place such as a safe or safety deposit box. It’s wise to separate the private and public keys, and secure them with strong passwords and multifactor authentication.
*Cold wallets are not compatible with all cryptocurrencies. If you buy and sell shitcoins, you will have to keep those in an online wallet until you convert them to a popular cryptocurrency such as Ethereum.
Watch out for scammers
The crypto scene is full of scammers trying to steal your assets. There are a number of tricks they use to try and gain access to your digital wallets, including:
- Phishing attacks where they send malicious links via twitter DMs or in Discord. When clicked on they can take control of your wallet and empty it out. As a rule, never click on links from people you don’t know.
- Airdropping mysterious shitcoins to your wallet. If you see a shitcoin in your wallet that you didn’t purchase, just ignore it. If you try to approve it for trading (on Uniswap for example), it can completely drain your wallet and steal everything from you.
- Posing as technical support for a crypto wallet. Tech support will NEVER ask you for your seed phrase. Watch out for fake tech support on Twitter.
Use unique, strong passwords
This is a well-known tip regarding online safety in general. Don’t use the same passwords on multiple accounts, and make sure to use strong passwords (e.g. not your name, birth year, etc.). Limit your risk by having a unique, strong password for every site or app, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. You can use a trusted password manager to help keep all your passwords safe.
Only use reputable crypto wallets and exchanges
Before choosing which platforms to use, you should carefully research the security features of them to understand how they protect your assets. Feel free to use more than one platform, but make sure you’re using unique, strong passwords for each.
NFT Frequently Asked Questions
With NFTs being such a new phenomenon, there are a ton of questions surrounding them. Below, you will see common questions and answers.
Hopefully this tutorial taught you all you need to know in order to transform your photos into NFTs and try to sell them. This new digital collectible space is full of unknowns, so feel free to experiment with different price points, edition sizes and types of imagery too. Mint a few pieces on the blockchain and see what happens.
If you have any questions or something to add, please leave a comment below.