Why Create an NFT Collection?
There are a wide variety of reasons to start any collection, and an NFT Collection (or the gathering of non-fungible tokens) is no different. For as many crazy types of NFTs, there are on the world wide web, there are just as many reasons collectors love them.
Of all the appealing angles, there are three main categories these interests fall into, including:
- For Enjoyment
- To Earn Money
- An Interesting Education
Largely, those are the three top reasons someone begins diving into the NFT world. Whatever interests you, there is plenty to learn and plenty to do when it comes to starting your own NFT collection.
Because It’s Fun
Some collectors are truly in it for pure enjoyment (i.e. just for the “love of the game” or the pure joy you derive from owning the NFTs) is pretty self-explanatory. Some just enjoy the process, have fun obtaining them, enjoy the relationships they create buying or selling NFTs, or just find joy in the ownership.
Others appreciate a sort of “bragging rights” many NFT owners enjoy. An NFT, or a non-fungible token, is just that: it is irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind. There is nothing else in the world quite like it. Only one person can own it, and if that’s you, knowing that fact alone may make you happy.
As the ice cream makers, Ben and Jerry were once quoted as saying, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” And that is a perfectly good reason to begin an NFT collection.
How NFT Collection Creators Make Money
Many collectors get into the world of collecting NFTs in order to make a profit. There is a goal to earn from these investments. Sometimes, owners of a specific NFT may view the ownership much like copyright.
Let’s say you own a particular image. For others to legally reuse that image digitally, they would need your permission. As the owner of that digital file, you could sell the rights to use it.
Far more often than that, investors seeking to make a buck do so through buying, selling, and trading. Much like a stockbroker, they are buying low, and selling or trading high, in order to turn a profit.
Some view NFT collections more like house flipping. You may buy something that, at the time may not have seemed valuable to others, but as the “neighborhood grows,” the digital asset suddenly gains in value. The owner of that NFT can now sell it at a far higher price than they bought it for, thus earning a profit. Money is earned, and you didn’t even have to add a fresh coat of paint.
In the Name of Education
Lastly, some folks are interested in NFTs because it is just that: interesting. This new world is rather undiscovered, unresolved, and unknown. Those getting in on this ground floor level are able to truly form what this community could be.
There is a lot of room for growth, room to define what NFTs are and can be in the future. Many find this “Final Frontier” to be an exciting opportunity. There is a chance to learn something very few understand yet. There is a chance to be a big player because so few are in the game.
Learning a new trade, the educational value of something so fresh is exciting enough a reason for some to learn more about NFTs and even create a collection.
Steps To Creating an NFT Collection
Taking the initial steps required to dive into an NFT collection can be daunting. It is overall a very new world to most. NFTs were created in 2014 but did not enter the mainstream audience until 2021. Still, in its infancy, it can be tough to navigate unknown waters. But, we’re here to help.
To understand the “how-to,” it is best to break it down into individual steps.
Researching the NFT Marketplace
Let’s face it. The NFT space is a wild west of chaos, confusion, and oddities. There are so many media that fall into the NFT universe. The only parameters NFTs typically follow is that they are digital files. After that rule of thumb, it’s really limited only by one’s imagination. And, in case you don’t know artists, they have some pretty crazy imaginations!
If you are interested in diving into this realm, research is crucial. It is, however, something hard to do when there is not a lot of groundwork out there on which to base such research. There is not a vast history here, so researching can be tough.
At this stage, you may want to begin feeling out what interests you most. If you are in it for the fun, what makes you happy? If you’re seeking to make a profit, what is selling well? What is seeing the best paydays?
If your goal is to learn, this will be a long step for you. You want to soak in and gather as much information as possible. The more you can learn, the better educated you will be about this interesting platform.
Finding Your Unique Brand & Concept
For the artist in you, this is a great chance to get creative. Let’s imagine your NFT collection is a new business. If you were creating a new business, you want to first comprehend what your concept is.
What is the goal of your NFT collection (or business if we continue the analogy)? Once you have determined the “why,” it is easier to begin creating a concept. Perhaps you want to showcase original music via .mp3 files. Maybe you want only digital artwork that includes dogs. It’s possible you want to only show the art of a single color or single artist or single theme.
The world is your oyster here and is once again only limited by your own imagination and creativity.
Just like starting your own business, you will also want to create a “brand” and “voice” with your collection. This may include some practical goals, such as creating a name for your collection, devising a logo, and focusing in on a theme, color scheme, and overall direction for your concept.
Map Out a Business Plan
Continuing with the idea that creating a collection is like starting your own business, the next steps would be to create the “business plan.” Where is your collection headed? Why does it exist? What are its overall goals, and what steps do you need to take to make those goals possible?
Just like writing a plan, mapping out these steps is a great way to be realistic about where you are headed and devise the true route in which to get there.
Creating the Artwork
Next up? Gather the NFTs you want in your collection. There are three main ways to go about this:
- Create your own art
- Purchase existing NFTs
- Hire someone to create NFTs
Some NFT collections revolve around a massive number of pieces. Some top-selling collections can have 10,000 unique pieces. Before you pass out hearing that figure, find comfort in knowing you do not hand drawing 10,000 pieces of art.
Thanks to Technology …
Remember the key component that ties NFTs together is that they are all digital files. This means it does not take Leonardo da Vinci to make a collection of art, nor a lifetime of painting to do so.
Most who create their own NFT collection do so by creating a piece or two of art, breaking it down into components, and writing codes in order to organize those components in different orders. Let’s say your collection is going to be about dogs. You may draw a certain set of noses, certain tongues, ears, tails, eyes, and whiskers. You may pick a set of colors or color families. You draw your style.
From there, thanks to the digital aspect of the NFT, you can write code to do the rest of the work for you. Taking even a handful of components, the code can be programmed to mix these features in a wide variety of combinations.
Suddenly just a few unique pieces (in this case, dog parts) can be shuffled and mixed to create a huge number of unique combinations.
Code a Smart Contract
The beauty of NFTs also is that they are able to be bought, sold, and traded via a smart contract. Smart contracts operate on an “If/Then” statement. This automates the process, eliminating the need for human touch, but also making it more efficient and more effective.
For example, code can be created for a smart contract that says, if X price quota is met for this piece of art, then Y NFT can be released. In that scenario, Joe Buyer can go onto your site, provide, prove, and post the required amount (per the “If” in the coded smart contract), and your artistic NFT can be released to his ownership (settling the “Then” in the coded smart contract).
Privacy, accuracy, and automation (not to mention lower costs) can all occur thanks to this technology.
How To Make an NFT On Your Own
Once you have a concept, and possibly have even begun creating your own art (or finding someone to do so for you). From there, making your digital art something that can be bought, sold, or traded as an NFT takes a few of its own steps.
To create an NFT, you need to:
- Select your unique digital art. This can be anything from an .mp3 file, a drawing, a video game, a song, a movie, a sound byte, a clip, a meme, a tweet … the list goes on and on. Again, nearly the only “rule” is that it be a digital file.
- Select your Blockchain. The Internet is full of options, and you need to select which blockchain makes the most sense for you. Currently, Ethereum is the top choice amongst creators with the biggest audience posting it it. Other choices include sites such as Tezos, Polkadot, Cosmos, and Binance Smart Chain.
- Create a digital wallet. Nothing involving digital assets is done without a crypto wallet. These wallets don’t per se hold money so much as it holds keys. Think of a wallet as two main components: your private key (think your private PIN to your debit card) and your public-facing key (think your Venmo account QR code). Until you have a wallet, buying, selling, or trading won’t truly have a landing space. This is like creating your account so that you can begin interacting in the crypto exchange universe.
- Pick an NFT Marketplace. Just as you have choices when it comes to blockchains, so too do you have options when selecting amongst the NFT Marketplaces. Some popular options currently on the market include Rarible, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, Mintable, ThetaDrop, Axie Marketplace, Larva Labs, Crytpo Punks, SuperRare, and Foundation. Specialty marketplaces also exist, focused on a specific genre or topic, such as the NBA Top Shot Marketplace. Find the one that fits your needs best. Keep an eye on things such as transaction costs if you choose to go the way of an established marketplace. Transaction fees, if not covered by buyer or miners’ gas fees, may fall on you. Read that fine print.
- Upload your art. Depending on which marketplace you select, the platform itself will walk you step-by-step taking your digital file, such as an .mp3, .jpg, .png, or .gif, etc.) and mint that into an NFT ready for its marketplace. The minting process will be unique to that sale site. These vary depending on the NFT marketplace. That specific NFT Marketplace you picked will impact what steps are required, what rules must be followed, and how your art will be posted.
- Prepare your NFT for sale. Once again, this final step may differ slightly depending on the NFT Marketplace you have chosen. NFT Marketplaces typically operate via three main sales modes: a fixed price (think eBay’s “buy it now” option; you pick a minimum price you will accept), a timed auction (an auction set to end at a predetermined time), or an unlimited auction (you choose when to end the auction when you are satisfied with the price).
A Website for your NFT Projects
There are a lot of options when it comes to NFT marketplaces, but you likely want to build a site to house your unique pieces (if selling is your goal) if you want to maintain authority over the process. Other folks create a page for the collection to live on more to show it off, ala an online art gallery, but only if you choose to allow users to see your pieces.
Making Your Own Website
By now, you know the drill. Websites can be created in a number of ways. Your digital art can be steps away from going live online, with the touch of just a few buttons. You can choose your components and build them from scratch or use a building software, such as Wix.
Use NFT Marketplaces as a Stepping Stone
You may opt to create an NFT Collection on your own platform, or spring off the starting models of other sites, such as OpenSea, SuperRare, or Foundation, all of which own NFT Marketplaces on their own, but also allow a user to launch a collection straight from their space.
These prefab options give you some backing from a larger corporation to make you feel safer, and possibly gain more eyes since you will be a part of something larger.
Plenty of Options
The “authentic” creators sometimes like to stay true to their own art form, and opt at this point to go it alone, instead. The pros, of course, are that you have total control. However, on the con flipside, you are stuck coding the page, maintaining the site solo, making your own smart contracts, and enforcing all the rules you set forth.
There are, of course, sites already created to help you use preset templates. Alternatively, you can also hire a designer to assist you at this point in creating a website. Chances are if you are able to code a smart contract, mint an NFT, or even draft your very own artwork, you can likely do this part, too.
Above All, Stand Out
Like most art, it is the highly unique, the completely unusual, and the truly “nonfungible” that will fair best.
Sometimes, the method of sale can be a unique part of your collection. Many creators opt for a smart contract that randomizes a “floor price” (i.e. lowest cost bracket) NFT. When a user makes a purchase, the smart contract spurs a virtual “wheel of chance,” and the buyer “wins” a randomly selected piece. The value won’t change, but this makes it more entertaining when buying.
The Next Big Thing
There is only one Picasso, and his style created an entire era of modern art and the use of Cubism. Will you be the next Picasso? NFT creators are out there that have yet to even attempt this art style.
The newly popular NFT realm leaves plenty of room for the “next big thing,” not to mention your next big payday. In the end, the market is unique in that it takes very little to get involved, there are still few rules about the exchanges, and so much more is still to come.
The Future of an NFT Collection
A Bold, New World
No matter what you choose, as an NFT artist or an NFT creator, you are entering a world that is not yet complete. There is plenty of room for growth, change, and definition. In other words, artists will enjoy putting their own stamp on an NFT concept, discovering and exploring a universe that is still being defined.
A Marketplace Where Once Was None
At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of an NFT was to connect artists to buyers, to allow them a marketplace to truly showcase, sell, and earn recognition for their work. In a world that often undervalues arts, cuts the from schools, pays the lowest amounts possible, and devalues talent at the drop of a hat, it is nice to know there is a platform out there attempting to change that.
Some sites even allow for artists to make money on secondary sales, meaning if you purchased the piece, the artist got her cut. But now you sell that piece to your friend, and that artist gets another cut. These profits would be treated more like a musician’s royalties and less like a one-time fee paid to the creator.
No matter your thoughts on NFTs, artists are being given a chance to make money selling their work, and that can’t be a terrible thing. The term “starving artist” exists for a reason. Yet, there are millions out there, ready and waiting to start creating multiple NFTs, if for no more reason than more fun.
So Many Variables
With personalized content being a focus for many NFT collections, you can sell NFTs for nearly any reason and for nearly any price.
The same NFT on one site might go for a dollar, and on another, that same NFT creation could be worth millions. NFTs are such a new and unknown territory, the rhyme and reason behind what happens on any given day, on any given site, is still very confusing.
What the Future Holds
Anything could happen with NFT collectibles in the coming months, years, and decades. They could quickly become a thing of the past, going the way of the 8-track, becoming nearly obsolete and hard to find except at a (virtual?) garage sale. One NFT project could be called the next Mona Lisa, but it just as easily could be dragged from your crypto wallet to your recycling bin.
As with any part of the future, the possibilities of all NFT projects remain unseen. Only time will tell us if minting NFTs was worth the time or effort.