NFTs are fast becoming a vital type of digital asset. The rise in their popularity signals that blockchains are moving beyond cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, governance tokens, and utility tokens to break into today’s cultural zeitgeist—with these unique digital collectibles seeing growing adoption across media, entertainment, music, sports, and more.
Whether you’re a creator looking for new ways to monetize your creativity using cutting-edge technology or a pioneering collector breaking into Web3 for the first time, this simple, step-by-step tutorial teaches you how to mint (create) your first NFT.
To follow along with this tutorial, you should already be familiar with the MetaMask (or any other OpenSea-compatible) wallet.
What Is an NFT?
Before looking into how to create an NFT, it’s essential to understand exactly what an NFT is. NFTs are non-fungible, or unique, tokens, which means that no two NFTs are ever the same, even if they might look the same. This is because each NFT has a unique identifier. You can think of this like a barcode. Even if the same image is attached to two different NFTs, you’ll be able to tell the difference by their barcodes.
This is also what makes NFT extremely powerful for creators. In the past, you could copy digital art endlessly, and there was no way to tell one file from the other. Now there is—and that’s just scratching the surface of what makes NFTs a paradigm-shifting technology.
To dive deeper into the technical aspects of NFTs and what they can do, check out What Is an NFT?
What Does It Mean To “Mint” an NFT?
Minting an NFT means creating a unique token on a blockchain. Only after minting an NFT is the digital collectible stored on the blockchain.
It’s important to know what is being stored during the minting process. It could be an entire work of art, in which case the entirety of the NFT and its metadata is stored “on-chain,” or it could be a reference to information stored off-chain using a tool like IPFS. Regardless of the data being stored, the simplest way to think about minting is as the process of creating an NFT.
Minting Your NFT
So you’ve decided you’d like to mint your first NFT. How do you get started? You could use an NFT marketplace like OpenSea or mint directly onto the blockchain via a smart contract. Let’s take a look at both methods.
Minting an NFT on OpenSea
Minting an NFT on OpenSea is straightforward. It consists of two steps.
Connect your wallet to OpenSea.
Click “create” and fill in the relevant information.
Note, if you don’t have a collection, you may need to create that first. There are instructions in the “Collection” section to help.
If you want a more programmatic approach to minting NFTs, deploying a smart contract to a blockchain like Ethereum could be a better option.
Minting Directly From Smart Contracts
Check if the contract has been verified.
If you come across a contract for an NFT project and want to mint directly from a tool like Etherscan, you can do that if the contract has been verified. The checkmark next to “Contract” is the first thing to look for. This means the contract is verified.
If the contract has been verified, you should be able to interact with it from Etherscan directly.
2. Follow the GIF tutorial below.
You’ll need to select “Contract” then “Write Contract.” Once there, you should see the functions you can interact with. You’ll be looking for the mint function; it might be named safeMint. After you connect your wallet and provide your address, you should be able to mint the NFT to your wallet. Follow along with the GIF below to get started.
Minting NFTs by Creating a Smart Contract
Building smart contracts to mint NFTs is a more in-depth topic. The tutorials below will walk you through the various processes.
- How To Create an NFT Game
- How To Create an NFT
- How To Build an NFT Marketplace With Solidity and Hardhat
- How To Create Generative Art NFTs
- How To Create NFT Domain Names
- Build, Deploy, and Sell Your Own Dynamic NFT
- How to Build Dynamic NFTs on Polygon
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How much will it cost to mint an NFT?
The cost of minting an NFT depends on the method you use and the state of the network at the time you’re minting. If cost is a concern, NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea have a “lazy minting” function, which enables you to sell an NFT before it’s minted—with the buyer paying the cost.
How can I sell my NFT?
Selling an NFT is simple if you use an NFT marketplace. For example, OpenSea, Nifty GateWay, Rarible, SuperRare, and X2Y2 are all prominent NFT marketplaces many NFT creators use to sell NFTs.
How do I mint an NFT on another blockchain?
The NFT minting process is very similar for other blockchains if you mint an NFT through marketplaces like OpenSea. However, there may be blockchains that are not supported by a specific marketplace. A good place to find more information on which blockchains are supported is a marketplace’s help page.
Where To Go From Here
If you’d like to learn more about building a successful NFT project, check out this guide, which details the essential steps and considerations for getting your project off the ground—NFT projects are more than the code behind the images.