In March 2021, NFT artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as “Beeple” sold his collection of work “The First 5000 Days” at a Christie’s auction for $69 million. Even more shocking, the sale made Winkelmann the world’s third most valuable living artist, catching the attention of those within the art community.
Winkelmann isn’t the only artist gaining traction in the world of non-fungible tokens, which are unique digital assets verified on a blockchain network. Pak, another famed NFT artist, sold “The Fungible Collection,” a collection that consists of 100 unique pieces, for a total of $17 million at a Soethby’s auction in April 2021. Additionally, Trevor Jones, an artist who once struggled to pay his mortgage sold “The Bitcoin Angel” for nearly $4 million in cryptocurrency at the time of the sale.
These examples illustrate the potential for artists to make significant profits. However, creating collections or art pieces worth millions is easier said than done. In fact, App Developer Magazine reports that research conducted by Crypto.news found, “median monthly earnings equal $121.47, with the bottom 35% of NFT collections delivering zero sales, and the top 35% earning at least $1,160 in sales, which is the monthly U.S. minimum wage.”
While this might make those considering becoming NFT artists feel hopeless, the good news is that there is still money to be made. The study showed that “the top 20% of NFT artists can earn at least $96,000 per year in sales,” proving that it isn’t impossible to make a great living creating NFT art—you just have to know what you’re doing.
Whether you are an experienced digital artist or just starting out, learn valuable insights into the world of NFTs, how you can get involved in this exciting new market, and strategies for developing a well-paying career as an NFT artist.
What Are NFTs?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets that are verified on a blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, which are fungible and interchangeable, each NFT is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated or replaced. Once an NFT is created, it can be bought, sold, and traded on various marketplaces, much like physical art or collectibles.
When an artist creates an NFT, they essentially create a digital certificate of ownership for a particular piece of content, such as digital art, music, or videos. This certificate is then verified and recorded on a blockchain, which acts as a decentralized ledger of ownership and transaction history.
The value of an NFT is determined by a number of factors, including:
- The reputation of the artist
- Demand for the content it represents
Top Pro of Selling NFTs: NFTs allow creators to monetize their digital content in new ways. By creating an NFT, an artist can sell a unique, verifiable copy of their work, rather than just distributing digital copies that can be easily duplicated or shared. This opens up new revenue streams for artists and creates a new asset class for investors to buy and sell.
Top Con of Selling NFTs: The market can be highly volatile and unpredictable, and the value of NFTs can fluctuate rapidly. Additionally, creating and verifying NFTs can be complex and costly, and there is always the risk of fraud and scams.
How to Make NFT Art in 5 Steps
If you’re an artist looking to explore new ways to monetize your digital content, creating NFT art is an exciting and potentially lucrative option. However, creating and selling NFTs can be complex, and it’s important to understand the process of getting involved in this new market. To make and sell your first NFT, follow the steps listed below.
Step 1: Select What Type of Content to Produce
NFTs can be various types of digital content, such as digital art, music, videos, GIFs, memes, tweets, virtual real estate, virtual items in games, and more. Essentially, any type of digital asset that can be uniquely identified and tokenized can be turned into an NFT.
Content that generates the most profits include the following traits:
- Uniqueness: Focus on creating unique and high-quality digital content that has the potential to gain interest among buyers. For digital art, this could include creating visually stunning pieces with new styles or themes that are not commonly seen in the market. One-of-a-kind pieces are more likely to sell because they are rare and can become more valuable in the NFT market.
- Quality: High-quality and well-executed NFTs showcase the skill and talent of the artists behind them.
- Innovation: Digital art that pushes the boundaries of what is possible and demonstrates new techniques and approaches is likely to sell for a higher price.
- Branding and promotion: Successful NFT artists often have strong personal brands and actively promote their work on social media and other platforms, building a following and generating interest in their art.
- Investment potential: Serious buyers in the NFT market see the art they buy as investments, with the potential for their value to appreciate over time, much like traditional art investments.
Each platform may have different requirements for file format, resolution, and other technical specifications. Be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the platform to ensure that your NFT is accepted for sale. Additionally, keep in mind any legal considerations, such as ensuring that you have the rights to the content you are selling as an NFT.
Step 2: Choose the Best Blockchain for Your Art
Once you have decided on the digital content that you want to turn into an NFT, the next step is to choose the best blockchain for your art. A blockchain is a digital ledger that records all transactions made using a particular cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.
Top Blockchains for NFT Artists
- Ethereum: Ethereum is currently the most popular blockchain used for creating and selling NFTs, offering a robust and established ecosystem with a wide range of marketplaces and wallets available.
- Pros: One of the major advantages of Ethereum is its high level of security, ensuring that your NFTs are protected from hackers and other malicious actors.
- Cons: This security comes with a cost in terms of transaction fees, which can be significant when creating or selling NFTs on the platform.
- BNB Chain: BNB Chain is another option for creating and selling NFTs that offers faster and cheaper transactions compared to Ethereum.
- Pros: The low fees associated with BNB Chain can make it an attractive option for artists looking to create an NFT and sell it on a budget.
- Cons: It is less secure than Ethereum, which may make some buyers hesitant to purchase NFTs created on this blockchain. It also may not have the same level of adoption and support as the more established platform.
- Flow Blockchain: Flow blockchain is a new blockchain platform designed specifically for creating and selling NFTs, offering fast and secure transactions with a focus on ease of use.
- Pros: Specifically designed for creating and selling NFTs, and is fast, secure, and backed by big names in the industry.
- Cons: It is a relatively new blockchain platform with less adoption and support than Ethereum.
Other Options for Blockchain
Step 3: Set Up a Digital Wallet
Setting up an NFT wallet is an essential step in creating and selling NFT art. An NFT wallet is a digital wallet used to store your NFTs and manage your transactions. Here are some steps to help you set up an NFT wallet:
- Choose a crypto wallet: There are several crypto wallets available that can be used for storing NFTs, including MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and MyEtherWallet. Each of these wallets has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that meets your needs. Listed below are a few pros and cons to each:
- MetaMask: MetaMask is a popular browser extension wallet that is easy to use and offers great security features. One downside is that it can only be used with web applications.
- Coinbase Wallet: Coinbase Wallet is a mobile wallet that is user-friendly and offers great security features. However, it is only available on mobile devices.
- Trust Wallet: Trust Wallet is a mobile wallet that offers great security and supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies. Yet, it does not have a desktop version.
- Trezor: Trezor is a hardware wallet that offers top-notch security for your NFT art, but comes with a higher price tag than software wallets.
- Ledger Nano S: Ledger Nano S is another hardware wallet that offers great security for your NFT art. However, it can only store a limited number of cryptocurrencies at a time.
- Download and install the wallet: Once you’ve chosen your preferred wallet, download and install it on your computer or mobile device. Follow the instructions provided by the wallet to set up your account and create a secure password.
- Obtain your wallet address: After setting up your wallet, you will be assigned a unique wallet address. This address is like a digital version of a physical address and is used to receive and send NFTs. Make sure to keep your wallet address private and secure. Here are a few things to remember:
- Your wallet address is the only way to identify your NFT wallet and make transactions. Losing your wallet address means losing access to your NFTs and all of your stored digital assets. For this reason, it’s important to keep a record of your wallet address in a safe and accessible place to avoid losing it.
- Many NFT platforms require you to have your own wallet address to sell, purchase or transfer NFTs. Some of these platforms may even restrict the use of certain wallets, so it’s important to check the platform’s requirements before setting up your wallet. Additionally, the choice of the wallet may also impact the ease of use and fees you may incur when making transactions.
- Wallet addresses are case sensitive. Any minor variation in upper or lower case letters can result in the address becoming invalid. If you’re transacting with someone else, double-check their wallet address before sending any NFTs to avoid sending them to the wrong wallet. Some wallets may also provide QR codes to easily scan the wallet address, which can minimize the risk of entering the wrong address.
Step 4: Pick an NFT Marketplace to Sell Your NFT
Once you have created your NFT and set up your digital wallet, you must choose a marketplace to sell your NFT art. There are many NFT marketplaces to choose from, and each has its own unique features and audience. Here are some of the top NFT marketplaces to consider:
- OpenSea: OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace, with over 4 million items listed for sale. It is a great platform for beginners and experienced sellers alike. OpenSea allows you to sell any type of NFT, including digital art, music, videos, and more. One downside to OpenSea is that it charges a 2.5% fee on all sales.
- Nifty Gateway: Nifty Gateway is a curated NFT marketplace that focuses on digital art and collectibles. The platform benefits established artists who want to sell high-value NFTs. One of the unique features of Nifty Gateway is that it offers timed releases of NFT drops, which can create a sense of exclusivity and drive up demand for your art.
- Mintable: Mintable is an NFT marketplace that allows artists to create, sell, and manage their own NFTs without any coding skills. It is known for its easy-to-use interface and for being the first marketplace to offer gas-free minting. Mintable also offers features such as multiple royalties and batch minting NFTs.
- SuperRare: SuperRare is a selective NFT marketplace that is focused on high-quality digital art. The platform has a rigorous curation process, which means that only a small percentage of artists are accepted onto the platform. However, this exclusivity can also be a positive, as it helps to establish a premium market for NFT art.
- Rarible: Rarible is an open marketplace that allows anyone to buy and sell NFTs. It is a great platform for new and emerging artists who want to get started with NFTs. One unique feature of Rarible is that it allows artists to create NFTs, which can help to differentiate your art from others on the platform.
- Foundation: Foundation is a curated NFT marketplace that focuses on digital art, collectibles, and experiences. It is known for its high-end curation process and for attracting a community of artists and collectors. Foundation also offers unique features such as unlockable content and collaborative auctions.
When choosing an NFT marketplace, it’s important to consider factors such as fees, audience, and curation process. You should also research the marketplace’s community and reputation to ensure that it aligns with your values and goals as an artist. Ultimately, the best marketplace for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
Step 5: Create Your NFT
Creating an NFT involves minting a digital asset that represents ownership of a unique piece of digital artwork or content. The first step is to connect your digital wallet to the platform you have chosen. This allows you to receive payment for your NFT when it is sold. To get started, follow the steps below:
- Connect your wallet: When connecting your digital wallet to the NFT platform, it’s important to ensure you’re using a compatible wallet. Some platforms may only support certain wallets, so be sure to check the requirements before attempting to connect. Once connected, the platform can access your digital assets and allow you to mint and sell your NFTs.
- Mint your NFT: The minting process involves creating a unique token on the blockchain that represents your digital artwork. To mint an NFT, the process usually involves uploading the file and entering information such as the name, description, and edition size. Some platforms may also offer additional customization options, such as setting a reserve price or enabling bidding. Minting an NFT typically involves paying a gas fee to cover the cost of processing the transaction on the blockchain.
- Set a price: When determining the price of your NFT, it’s important to consider factors such as the rarity and perceived value of the artwork, as well as the current market conditions. Some platforms may also charge a fee for each NFT you mint or take a percentage of the sale price. It’s important to factor these fees into your pricing strategy to ensure you make a profit.
- List your NFT: Once your NFT is minted, you’ll need to list it on a marketplace where buyers can discover and purchase it. Some platforms may offer additional promotional features, such as featuring your artwork on the homepage or promoting it to a specific audience. It’s important to carefully consider which marketplace to use based on factors such as the platform’s user base, fees, and promotional opportunities.
- Find a buyer: After listing your NFT, actively promote your it on social media or other channels to increase its visibility and attract potential buyers. Once a buyer has purchased your NFT, the funds will be transferred directly to your connected digital wallet, minus any fees charged by the platform. Before selling an NFT, ensure your wallet address is correct and up-to-date for a smooth transfer of funds.
Here’s an example of how to upload an NFT to OpenSea:
- Connect your digital wallet: OpenSea supports several digital wallets, such as MetaMask and WalletConnect. Connect your preferred wallet to OpenSea and make sure it has enough cryptocurrency to pay for gas fees.
- Create your NFT: You can create your NFT directly on OpenSea, or you can create it on another platform and then import it to OpenSea. To create it on OpenSea, click on “Create” and then select “Single item.” Fill in the details, including the name, description, and file for your NFT. You can also choose whether to sell it at an auction or a fixed price.
- Set a price: Determine how much you want to sell your NFT for, and set the price accordingly. Keep in mind that OpenSea charges a fee of 2.5% on sales, and gas fees may also apply.
- List your NFT: Once you’ve set the price, list your NFT on OpenSea. Your NFT will be visible to anyone browsing the marketplace, and potential buyers can place bids or purchase it at the fixed price.
- Make a sale: Wait for a buyer to purchase your NFT. Once it’s sold, the funds will be transferred directly to your connected digital wallet.
Marketing Tips for Selling Popular NFTs
Marketing NFTs can be challenging since the market is still developing, but there are a few creative ways to promote and sell them:
- Leverage Social Media: Social media platforms are a great way to reach a wide audience of potential buyers. Post images and videos of your NFTs on your social media accounts and use relevant hashtags to attract attention. Engage with your followers and respond to comments to build relationships and increase your reach.
- Collaborate With Other Artists: Collaborating with other artists is a great way to expand your audience and reach new buyers. Consider teaming up with another artist to create a collection of NFTs or hosting a joint auction.
- Offer Limited Editions: Creating limited edition NFTs can help drive up demand and increase the perceived value of your artwork. Consider offering a limited number of NFTs or limiting the amount of time they are available for purchase.
- Attend NFT Conferences: Attending NFT conferences and events is a great way to network with other artists and collectors and showcase your work to potential buyers. Be sure to bring business cards and promotional materials to share with attendees.
- Create a unique story: Develop a unique story or concept behind your NFT art to differentiate yourself from other artists and provide value to potential buyers.
- Create a Website: Creating a website dedicated to your NFT artwork can help you establish a strong online presence and showcase your work in a professional manner. Include high-quality images and descriptions of your NFTs, as well as a blog to share updates and news.
- Host an AMA: Hosting an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on social media or a discussion forum can help you connect with potential buyers and build your personal brand. Encourage participants to ask questions about your artwork and creative process.
- Offer Discounts: Offering discounts or promotions can help drive sales and attract buyers. Consider offering a limited-time discount code or bundle deal for multiple NFTs.
- Guest on Podcasts: Appearing as a guest on podcasts or online shows that cover topics related to NFTs or the art world can help you reach a wider audience of potential buyers. Be sure to mention your NFT artwork and provide a link to your online portfolio.
- Collaborate With Influencers: Partnering with social media influencers or celebrities who have a large following can help you reach a wider audience and attract new buyers. Offer to create a custom NFT for the influencer to promote to their followers.
- Engage With the Community: Engaging with the NFT community on social media and discussion forums is a great way to build your personal brand and establish yourself as a respected artist. Offer feedback and support to other artists, and share your own insights and experiences to build your reputation.
- Provide exceptional customer service: Provide prompt and courteous customer service to buyers to build trust and encourage repeat purchases and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Selling NFT Art
What are the best ways to sell NFTs for high prices?
When it comes to selling NFTs for high dollar amounts, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Build a strong brand and reputation by consistently producing high-quality NFTs that are unique and visually appealing.
- Be strategic with pricing, taking into consideration the rarity and demand for your NFTs. Offering one-of-a-kind or limited edition NFTs can increase their value.
- Offer a certificate of authenticity or verification from a trusted third-party service to prove the legitimacy and ownership of your NFTs.
- Leverage social media and other marketing channels to build a following and increase exposure for your NFTs, which can help drive up demand and price.
- Consider auctioning off your NFTs on a platform like OpenSea or SuperRare to create a bidding war and potentially drive up the final sale price.
What happens to an NFT after it is purchased?
After an NFT is purchased, it is transferred to the buyer’s digital wallet, just like any other cryptocurrency. The ownership and transaction history of the NFT is then recorded on the blockchain, making it immutable and easily verifiable. The buyer can then choose to keep the NFT in their wallet, display it in their digital collection, or resell it on an NFT marketplace. If the NFT is resold, the transaction is again recorded on the blockchain, and the new owner’s wallet address becomes the owner of the NFT. Since NFTs are unique and scarce digital assets, the value of the NFT may increase or decrease over time based on market demand and the perceived value of the asset.
What are some cons to watch out for regarding NFT art?
- High energy consumption: Creating and trading NFTs require a significant amount of computing power, which consumes a considerable amount of energy and contributes to carbon emissions.
- Price volatility: The value of NFTs can be highly volatile, and the price can fluctuate dramatically in a short period. Therefore, buyers and sellers must be cautious and not assume that the price of their NFT will always increase.
- Potential for fraud: The lack of regulation in the NFT market makes it easier for fraudsters to sell fake or stolen NFTs, making it essential to verify the authenticity of an NFT before purchasing it.
- Limited market demand: While the popularity of NFTs has grown in recent years, the market is still relatively small compared to traditional art markets, meaning there may not always be enough demand for certain NFTs.
- High transaction fees: Buying and selling NFTs often incurs high transaction fees, which can be a barrier to entry for some buyers and sellers.
- Copyright issues: The ownership of the intellectual property rights of an NFT may not always be clear, leading to potential copyright issues for buyers and sellers.
What are the costs associated with creating and selling NFT art?
The cost of making an NFT varies depending on the platform and the amount of energy required to mint the NFT. The cost of minting an NFT on the Ethereum network, for example, can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of the NFT and the current state of the network.
The cost of selling an NFT also varies depending on the platform. Some platforms charge a fee for listing an NFT, while others charge a percentage of the sale price as a commission. For example, OpenSea charges a 2.5% fee on all sales, while SuperRare charges a 10% commission on sales. Additionally, some platforms may charge additional fees for certain services, such as gas fees for transactions on the Ethereum network.
What are gas fees and how can you avoid paying them?
Gas fees are the transaction fees paid by users to execute operations on a blockchain network, such as minting or selling NFTs. These fees are paid in the network’s native cryptocurrency, such as Ether (ETH) on the Ethereum network. Gas fees can fluctuate based on network congestion and demand, and can sometimes be very high, especially during times of high network activity.
To avoid paying high gas fees, some strategies include:
- Timing: Wait for periods of lower network activity to execute transactions when gas fees tend to be lower. In some cases, certain days or hours are optimal for transactions.
- Lowering the gas limit: This can be done when creating a transaction to reduce the gas fee. However, this could also result in a slower transaction or even failure if the limit is too low.
- Using a gas fee tracker: Websites like Nansen, Etherscan, Blocknative, and Crypto.org provide real-time gas fee data, allowing users to monitor fees and choose the best time to execute transactions.
- Using a different network: Consider using a different blockchain network that may have lower gas fees or no gas fees at all.
It’s important to note that while these strategies may help reduce gas fees, they may not completely eliminate them, and it’s always important to research and understand the cost of executing transactions on a particular blockchain network before taking action.
Follow These Top NFT Artists for Inspiration
If you’re looking for inspiration in the world of NFT art, there are a number of artists worth following. This group of creators has been making waves with their unique styles, innovative use of technology, and engaging online presences. Some notable names to check out include:
- Trevor Jones: Trevor Jones is a digital artist who is known for his NFT works that often blend together traditional art forms with cutting-edge digital techniques. His pieces have been exhibited in numerous galleries and shows, and he has won several awards for his contributions to the world of digital art.
- Pak: Pak is a pseudonymous NFT artist who has gained a significant following for his abstract and surrealist works. He has been featured in various publications, and his pieces have sold for millions of dollars in various NFT marketplaces.
- Mad Dog Jones: Mad Dog Jones is a Canadian artist who has gained recognition for his vibrant, surrealistic digital artworks. His pieces often feature futuristic cityscapes and highly stylized characters, and he has collaborated with a range of brands and companies, including Nike and Samsung.
- Krista Kim: Krista Kim is a Korean-Canadian artist who has gained a lot of recognition for her use of color and light in her NFT works. Her pieces often feature hypnotic, otherworldly landscapes, and she has been commissioned to create NFTs for a range of high-profile clients, including Warner Music Group and HTC.
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