Non-Fungible Tokens: The Ultimate Guide to NFTs (Explained)

A few months into 2021, the search term NFT really started to blow up online. 

Why are we hooked? For starters, do a Google search for “making money with NFTs,” and you should draw about a million results!

If you aspire to NFT creator glory, consider our guide your virtual mini-goldmine. While we’re not glorifying NFTs as a get-rich-quick scheme, we’ve collated an exhaustive list of resources, tips,  and cool NFT history and facts. 

Chapters

Chapter 1

Introduction

Chapter 2

The NFT Creator Recipe

Chapter 3

Designing Your Crypto Artwork

Chapter 4

Creating Your NFT

Chapter 5

How To Sell an NFT

Chapter 6

How To Buy an NFT

Chapter 7

Inspiring NFT Creators

Chapter 8

NFTs: Show Us The Money

Chapter 9

Customizing Your NFT Marketplace

Chapter 10

Showcasing NFT Art

Chapter 11

Future of NFTs

Chapter 1:

Introduction

For anyone wanting to get into NFTs as a side hustle or a full-blown business venture, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide!

You’ll learn:

  • Which NFT marketplace is best for you
  • The reality of creating NFTs yourself
  • The rewards of Customizing an NFT marketplace
  • Why Collections are Key 
  • The right reasons to get into NFTs.

Ready?

Excellent. First, a brief primer on NFTs…

What are NFTS?

Yes, we splashed some impressive dollar figures at you, and that’s the reason why those NFT facts made history. When you come down to it, the money-making reality with NFTs isn’t as dramatic. But when you think outside the box (or OpenSea, in this case), the potential for successful NFT business ventures is there.

We’ll get into more realistic sales figures under our chapters Inspiring NFT Creators and NFTs: Show Us the Money. We’ll also reveal forward-thinking opportunities under Customizing NFT Marketplaces (including the hot NFT collection market that is ripe with potential for designers or non-designers!).

The best way to start in NFTs is to gauge your wants, needs, and aspirations. Another way to explain this further is with some real-world examples of how digital artists, entrepreneurs, or social media stars made their NFT goals a reality.

NFTs are non-fungible tokens, and “non-fungible” is a hyphenated word for unique or irreplaceable (a real-world example of “non-fungible” is the Mona Lisa). A non-fungible token is a digitized work assigned with a blockchain code (like a serial number) in the virtual world. It’s the blockchain code that makes an NFT a unique digital asset to sell or trade.

Payment for the sale or trade of an NFT is generally cryptocurrency, especially when an NFT is listed in a reputable NFT marketplace or through an online auction. When web maintenance and security protocols get appropriately handled, NFTs remain unique digital assets that can’t be erased or duplicated.

Cool NFT Facts and History

NFT technology isn’t even a decade old! So, to bring you up to speed completely, we’re going to hit you up with some NFT knowledge, starting from where this exciting virtual realm all began…

Keep on reading because we’ve saved perhaps the best NFT cool fact for an upcoming chapter! In the meantime, here’s something to consider.

The Right Reasons to Get Into NFTs

Yes, we splashed some impressive dollar figures at you, and that’s the reason why those NFT facts made history. When you come down to it, the money-making reality with NFTs isn’t as dramatic. But when you think outside the box (or OpenSea, in this case), the potential for successful NFT business ventures is there.

We’ll get into more realistic sales figures under our chapters Inspiring NFT Creators and NFTs: Show Us the Money. We’ll also reveal forward-thinking opportunities under Customizing NFT Marketplaces (including the hot NFT collection market that is ripe with potential for designers or non-designers!).

The best way to start in NFTs is to gauge your wants, needs, and aspirations. Another way to explain this further is with some real-world examples of how digital artists, entrepreneurs, or social media stars made their NFT goals a reality.

Is this a passion of yours? A paid hobby or passive income stream can be fantastic:

YouTube offers various video tutorials by digital artists (like Janet Chan of Honey & Absinthe). Chan is a former Storyboard artist at Disney, and while she admits that sounds like a “dream” job, she quit Disney in 2020 to focus on her own creative pursuits, including NFTs, to generate a passive income stream.

Is this an entrepreneurial endeavor? When you dig deep and get imaginative, the possibilities are there.

If you want to see the future of NFTs…think Gary “Vee” as in entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. He invested early on in Facebook, Uber, and Coinbase, and he’s imagining huge possibilities with NFTs, including future NFT conventions he’s calling “VeeCons.”

Is this a next-level social media venture? Suppose you have a healthy social following (or even a polarizing “love him or hate him” following like our real-world example…). In that case, NFTs can be a highly viable and visible income driver:

Logan Paul continues to make “digital history” with investments he documents on his socials (haters be damned!). For example, just before his massively publicized Pokémon unboxings, Logan also sold 5 million US in NFTs.

The Creator-Market Fit

Keep the ‘Creator-Market Fit’ in mind when you think about getting into NFTs. It’s all about making content (do you enjoy creating NFTs?), audience (do people want your work?), and business (can this grow your business or just be a paid hobby?). 

Maybe you’re an amateur artist. Perhaps you have an active audience on your socials. Maybe you’re successful in business…but you need to collaborate on the digital assets.

When you’re true to yourself in the NFT space, great things can happen. Keep reading to learn more!

Chapter 2:

The NFT Creator Recipe

The coolest thing about the NFT space is the number of niches you can find to make, buy, or trade crypto artwork after it becomes an NFT. It’s practically limitless, but it’s also important to recognize where designing ends and creating begins!

In this chapter you’ll learn:

  • Designing vs. Creating
  • The Creator Recipe
  • Choosing Your Wallet
  • Learning the NFT Market

 

Designing Versus Creating

Our next chapter focuses on the design of crypto art to create NFTs. Now, “design” and “create” seem like pretty identical terms… I mean, one definition of design is “to create!” But in the NFT world, designing crypto artwork and creating NFTs mean totally different things:

Designers make crypto artwork using graphic design or illustrative software, video editing or music (DAW, or digital audio) software, or website tools to design virtual artwork or digitize physical artwork into an online commodity.

Creators assign blockchain codes to crypto artworks, making each into a unique digital asset (NFT) listed on NFT marketplaces with a value in cryptocurrency. 

As we mentioned, designing and creating are two pieces that must join to form a unique digital asset called the NFT. Some designers are also creators, while others create and collaborate with designers on their NFTs. 

If you’re looking to profit from NFTs of your crypto art designs, the most economical lane you can take is to design it yourself. That’s why our next chapter focuses on designing crypto art. The following chapters will give shout-outs to some inspiring young NFT creators and examine the moneymaking realities you might expect when you’re creating NFTs.

To make it less confusing, we’ve “created” this recipe for you with the necessary ingredients and directions to follow before you even design your work or create your first NFT.

The Creator Recipe

Without the following ingredients, your crypto art will not be delish (and it might not be legal!), so heed this list:

    1. Be the rightful owner. If you don’t own the crypto artwork, you can’t legally sell it.
    2. Don’t be shy. Your unique digital assets need to stand out—wallflowers get nowhere in NFTs.
    3. Don’t imitate. Knowing what is selling is crucial. Figuring out how to redefine it and make it unique is key.
    4. Get promoting.  Don’t just stand out. Be proud of it! Promote the hell out of your work on social media. If anything, you’ll quickly discover if your creations have an audience.

Now you’ve got the ingredients. What are the directions? Here’s what to do and how good you have to be to do it.

Choose Your Wallet

Skill level: Beginner

In a short time, NFT creation has gotten more user-friendly and less expensive. But you still  “pay to play.” By that, I mean setting up a virtual “crypto wallet” to store your currency and your NFTs (you can’t do NFT transactions without a wallet, keys, and a smart contract). 

As mentioned, your crypto  wallet will contain two keys:

  1. Your public key is your public address on a blockchain, and it’s where your digital assets are located.
  2. Your private key works like a physical key to unlock your digital assets and make transfers possible.

Just as there are different web browsers or operating systems, there is more than one crypto wallet. The most popular and secure wallets include:

  • Binance
  • MetaMask
  • Ledger
  • Coinbase
  • Trust Wallet

 

Feel free to do some due diligence on which crypto wallet will work best for you! For the use case example in this guide, we selected the MetaMask wallet extension to install on Google Chrome.

Here are MetaMask FAQs to familiarize yourself with using your crypto wallet and addressing any questions or issues.

Learn the NFT Market

Skill level: Beginner to Advanced

It’s crucial to immerse yourself in the NFT marketplace and find out what is selling. Keep in mind that this space is evolving at dizzying speed. But that’s also the beauty of crypto art. Wherever you are in the space, you can always learn more, and when you’re ready, you can commit to jumping in!

What To Look For

Listed below are three sites to investigate hot NFT sales, current trends, and glimpses into what the future holds: 

These sites will list important facts like the number of NFTs created, the number of owners, a description of the project, website links, a community Discord page, its average weekly price, and its total volume. It’s not hard to learn the ins and outs, and it’s definitely fascinating

Okay. You’ve read the ingredient list, you understand the wallet set up, and you’ve done some NFT marketplace homework to prepare yourself for creating NFTs. What’s next? 

As a DIY NFT creator, you’ll want to read our upcoming chapters on NFTs: Show Us the Money and our chapter on Inspiring NFT Creators who have made realistic profits in the NFT space. Until then, it’s time for the most integral piece…

Before any NFT is created, art must be designed. It’s all happening in our next chapter, Designing Your Crypto Artwork. Keep on reading!

Chapter 3:

Designing Your Crypto Artwork

NFTs are a relatively recent E-Commerce phenomenon, but imaginative digital artists have been creating virtual artwork for decades before anyone thought of attaching cryptocurrency values to it.

That said, let’s dive into the design element first. We’re calling it crypto artwork because it’s art valued in cryptocurrency: digitized art like photographs, video, music, and 3D renderings that become NFTs, listed in NFT marketplaces.

Let’s do this!

The Fun Part… Designing Crypto Artwork With Software

You’re not a designer, but you “wannabe”? Don’t be deterred! Designing crypto artwork can be an acquired skill, especially if you come into it with the right intentions: having fun first, with the possibility of financial reward later.

If you already have a natural talent for drawing or photography, you’ll find that today’s software tools make designing so enjoyable, it quickly becomes a passion project.

Never drawn or taken a picture before? Again, computer software is so user-friendly, you’ll be learning—and designing—quicker than you think.

Software is abundant in the following categories, and we’ll be reviewing our favorites in this chapter for the following types of crypto artwork:

  • Illustration 
  • Photo Editing 
  • 3D Renderings

Takeaway: look for free trials with any software product. Remember to search for online forums or free video tutorials to make learning easier and share your work with other designers for advice and feedback.

Illustration Software

Skill Set: Novice to Expert

Illustrated crypto artwork is the biggest source of NFT creations, and there are many software choices for designers. We’re listing our favorites based on skill-set and bonuses like a free version for basic designs or a free trial for software with added features and benefits.

Adobe Illustrator (AI)

This software is ideal for creating scalable scenery, graffiti, freehand drawings, or traceable graphics. With built-ins like Adobe Sensei AI, you can extract colorations from photographs to insert into your designs. The learning curve requires patience and the time to familiarize yourself with everything because AI offers many mind-blowing features. Check out this free trial

Canva

In a DIY creator space that is ruled by Adobe software, Canva still built a strong presence on two positives: its basic version is “always free,” and it’s so user-friendly, you can be up and creating your first illustrated graphic in minutes. Of course, even better features come with paid options, but Canva is highly recommended at any level. So click on Canva to check out! 

Inkscape

This working website project and its large international community make you rejoice in the power of the Internet! 

As a member of the Software Freedom Conservancy, Inkscape offers free features for all operating systems. It’s ideal for designing cartoons, clip art, and logos for novices on up. In addition, Inkscape offers extensive learning materials, help, and support. It’s so great, many users help with contributions, and good news… donations are tax-deductible in the US. So check out Inkscape to download and start designing.

Photo Editing Software

Skill Set: Beginner to Expert

Digital photography is another huge category in the NFT marketplace. Designers take their photographs to new virtual heights with software that empowers their creativity. Here are our software faves for designing and editing basic photography into a crypto art masterpiece!

Adobe Photoshop

This flagship software has been around for decades, and it’s upped its game with user-friendly tools, including Photoshop Brushes and Photo Effects for laptops, iPad, or mobile. Check out this free trial

GIMP

The name of this website program isn’t implying anything lame! GIMP stands for a GNU Image Manipulation Program, and it’s free to use on just about every operating system for photography compositions and retouching. GIMP offers great tutorials designed for beginners, an FAQ page, and a link to donate because sites like this one deserve all the love! Check out GIMP

Photopea

This online photo editor is presented in a minimal black screen format familiar to coders and developers, making Photopea a good choice for designers with intermediate to advanced skills and experience. Photopea works for various software projects and file extensions, and it has an active community on Reddit. Check out Photopea

3D Rendering Tools

Skill Set: Intermediate to Expert

Designers in the 3D pipeline (or 2D animation pipeline) are generally well-versed in realistic models, rigging, animating, simulating, motion tracking, and video editing. In addition, 3D rendering tools make designing 2D animated or 3D crypto artwork an exciting and satisfying adventure. Here are our favorites in this space.

Blender

This site offers limitless 3D creation with a tagline: “free software never looked this awesome.” With extensive features for every project, a fully customizable interface, and integration with many pipeline tools, Blender champions artistic freedom. The Blender Foundation, Blender Institute, and Blender Studio offer designers the world, and the community is beyond supportive. Check out Blender.

3ds Max Software

This paid software offers three price tiers for savings and a free trial. It’s a premium offering (the price reflects this), but its “rich and flexible toolset” is brought to you by Autodesk, the brains behind AutoCad and Revit software, the most utilized architectural tools worldwide. 

Support, Learning, and Community tabs deliver service and education that makes the costs worthwhile. Check out 3ds Max Software.   

8-Bit Art / Pixel Art

Skill Set: Intermediate and Up

As of this writing, one of the hottest NFT sub-categories is pixelated crypto art, otherwise known as 8-bit art or Pixel art. Classic arcade video games from the 80s and 90s are prime examples of Pixel art, resembling a virtual cross-stitch.

8-bit art is exploding in the NFT space, and some very cool (and generous!) creators online host sites where you can practice and create 8-bit art yourself

Make 8-Bit Art Website

One of our favorites is Make 8-Bit Art, courtesy of code and content creator Jenn Schiffer. Jenn’s website explains her adventures in pixel art, and it’s bound to inspire you. Check out Make 8-Bit Art.

Pixel Art Software

For designers who are familiar with Pixel Art, the following software is available: 

Aseprite has extensive features for Animation & Layers, Color & Painting, and Importing and Exporting Files. Aseprite works on Windows, macOS, or Ubuntu + Steam key. There’s a trial version and the “buy now” price is really affordable. 

Pyxel Edit

Pyxel Edit is currently being developed, and the beta version is available at a discounted cost to support the developers. If you buy the beta now, all future program updates are free! 

You’ve designed something special. Next up, we show you how to turn that design into a digital asset… creating an NFT! Keep on reading!

Chapter 4:

Creating your NFT

It seems like only yesterday (or more like just a couple of months ago!) that “creating” an NFT had to include minting each unique digital asset before it got listed in marketplaces on the Ethereum blockchain.

In this chapter, you will learn:

  • Definition of Minting
  • NFT Checklist
  • How to Create Your NFT on OpenSea

Minting Defined

The basic definition of minting is a computer process to validate and record information, creating a new block on the blockchain. As benign as that sounds…it also meant expensive because the minting process included “gas fees” (necessary minting costs to run the Ethereum network).

Minting and gas fees fluctuated (just like genuine petrol). Costs were beginning to get prohibitive for NFT creators to list in a marketplace, only to have their NFTs go unsold and lose money instead of making even a small profit.

Takeaway: minting and gas fees are an upfront “pain in the butt” cost for creators, and the negative feedback by sellers in NFT marketplaces was becoming a huge drawback to continued growth in the space.

Now It Pays to Be Lazy!

As talk of minting costs got negative, open platforms like OpenSea turned to “lazy minting,” where minting costs and gas fees are packaged into the list price and paid when NFTs get sold. OpenSea’s closest competitor, Rarible, is quickly following suit.

Lazy minting quickly revolutionized the NFT market. Although some smaller marketplaces still require upfront minting, this section is about creating your NFT with lazy minting and zero gas fees on OpenSea’s Polygon (MATIC) platform.

Creating an NFT is quite easy, but make sure to follow the Creator Recipe checklist before you start. Here’s a quick reminder.

NFT Checklist

You can’t create an NFT without:

  • Purchasing Ethereum in advance (or another cryptocurrency for an NFT marketplace on a different blockchain)
  • Creating your Metamask wallet (again, there are other crypto wallets, but Metamask is the most popular and widely accepted across blockchains) through the browser extension or mobile app 
  • Transferring cryptocurrency (Ethereum or otherwise) to your crypto wallet

Assuming there aren’t any X’s on your checklist, let’s go ahead and create your first NFT on the OpenSea platform!

How to Create Your NFT on OpenSea

We will instruct you with text and screenshots to create your NFT for eventual listing on OpenSea’s Polygon marketplace. The Polygon marketplace allows your NFT to be traded across multiple blockchains, and its most popular feature is no upfront gas fees or ETH cryptocurrency required!

Creating your NFT requires three steps: 

  • Creating an OpenSea Profile
  • Creating a Collection on Polygon
  • Creating Your NFT!

Here it is, step by step.

1. Create Your OpenSea Profile

On the OpenSea main page, click on the profile icon to set up your account under My Profile:

2. Creating Your NFT Collection on Polygon

After you set up and confirm your OpenSea profile and royalties, click on your profile icon and select My Collections.

In the next box, click on Create a collection

There will be a dropdown menu under Create a collection to your default blockchain for NFT creation. Select Polygon on the Blockchain dropdown menu:

After you select Polygon, you can select one payment method or add methods:

One last thing that creators should never forget about: royalties. OpenSea allows creators to establish royalty rates of up to 10%, and the creator receives that royalty every time their NFT is sold or resold. Click on the link above to learn more!

Okay… drum roll, please… next up, the step we’ve all been waiting for… it’s time to take your crypto artwork and create your first NFT on the Polygon blockchain.

3. Creating Your NFT!

Once you’ve established your collection on OpenSea’s Polygon, you create your NFT by adding an item to your collection. You’ll see the Add Item in the top right corner of the screen:

At this point, the process goes fast, and it’s fun. But, first, you create a new item by uploading your crypto artwork file and customizing any details (we’ll explain that more below!):

Details:

  • Note the max file size 
  • Remember to name your item
  • In addition to no upfront gas fees, Polygon allows creators to select “semi-fungible tokens,” meaning your NFT can be minted to multiple wallets. 

When you’re done customizing your NFT, click on the blue Create button. The platform confirms your NFT creation by displaying a window like this:

You’ve now created your first NFT and listed it in OpenSea’s Polygon marketplace. It’s an exciting step, but we all know where we want to go from there…

Our next chapter gives you an easy step-by-step on how to sell your first NFT through the Polygon marketplace. Keep on reading!

Chapter 5:

How to Sell an NFT

What’s the sweetest word in all NFT lingo? If you said selling, you’re right! Since we created our NFT for the OpenSea Polygon marketplace, let’s use the Polygon platform to describe how to sell your NFT, also known as the process of listing.

In this chapter, you will also learn about setting your selling details. Setting your selling details is important to ensure that your transactions will be successful. Happy selling!

It’s Listing Time!

After you’ve created your first NFT, you can “visit” it on OpenSea Polygon and click on the blue Sell box in the top right corner:

Setting Selling Details

Clicking on the Sell box opens a new window. You can select a selling price and currency by clicking on the dropdown menus next to the arrows. You’ll see any fees or royalties on your item, and you can also schedule a listing date if you wish!

Finally, complete your listing by clicking on the blue button. 

A new window opens:

Your crypto wallet (we’re using MetaMask) will prompt you to sign for the NFT transaction by clicking on the blue Sign button. The MetaMask signature request window looks like this:

After you click Sign in this window to authorize, your NFT will get listed shortly. Then, you’ll receive this (very exciting!) confirmation:

Note the links to share your NFT on social media, as well as a shareable link.

You can visit and view your NFT at any time. It will appear like this on your devices, the same way it will appear to buyers:

Have a great time selling your NFT, and here’s to many successful transactions in your Collection!

When you’re selling in a virtual marketplace, it’s good to know how buying works, or maybe you’re looking to invest in NFTs too? Keep on reading about how to buy NFTs!

Chapter 6:

How to Buy an NFT

So…the fees just disappeared?! 

With OpenSea’s introduction of lazy minting and its Polygon NFT marketplace, buyers need to understand where the fees get re-allocated versus what’s actually “gas-free” on OpenSea. So check out our guide to buying NFTs on OpenSea and prepare to have fun with it!

Here, we will learn about:

  • The Advantages of Polygon
  • When Are Gas Fees Required
  • How to Buy NFTs on Polygon

 

The Advantages of Polygon

OpenSea was keenly aware of its top-dog status among NFT marketplaces, and introducing the Polygon marketplace only made their standing more secure—and wealthier. They’re very keen on explaining the numerous advantages to buyers and sellers on Polygon, including:

  • A secure and scalable blockchain offering instantaneous transactions with ETH, USDC, and DAI currencies
  • Expensive crypto wallet initialization fees removed
  • Gas-free buying of NFTs

When Gas Fees Are Required

Anyone on the Polygon network pays gas fees to transfer ETH currencies to Polygon. It’s also important to know that transferred Ethereum currencies then become Polygon ETH, which is required. Currency transfers are called “bridging.” Please check out the link for more information.

How To Buy NFTs on Polygon

In order to purchase on Polygon, you need to find Polygon NFTs under Chains (located on the left side panel on OpenSea). Check Polygon off the Chains list: 

When you find an NFT you want to buy, simply click on the blue Buy Now button on the item.

First-time buyers on Polygon then unlock Polygon trading in their crypto wallet in two steps (this process only happens once):

After you unlock the transaction, you’ll receive a “purchase processed” confirmation. Congrats!

Is your head swirling right now with all this information? Our next chapter shines the light on inspiring NFT creators to continue motivating you. Keep on reading!

Chapter 7:

Inspiring NFT Creators

The following young creators have experienced more real success in the NFT space, and one of them collaborates with digital artists who design their crypto art! 

What that means is, you can be a creator without necessarily being the actual artist. Our first young and inspiring creator is living proof that anyone with crypto-art concepts can create the works themselves or collaborate with digital artists to make their NFTs a reality.

A New York City teen began dropping NFTs in 2020 on a platform called Atomic Hub. She brings the concepts to a digital artist who designs her crypto art. She then lists the works on NFT platforms and promotes them on her website and YouTube channel.

A teenager in Soledad, California, started creating crypto art on an iPad he’d borrowed because he didn’t even own a computer. Creating NFTs has brought him out of poverty, and his recent artworks sold out at an online auction for between $1,000 to just over $7,000.

Another teen boy from Washington state has been creating crypto art for under a year. While he admitted to “tossing out random stuff” to test the marketplace, his surreal landscape artwork also sold out at an online auction at realistic prices similar to Solace.

Are You Ready To Inspire and Create?

If you’re passionate about NFTs like our inspiring creators, and you’d like to test the marketplace, there’s no time like right now! 

Our next chapter, NFTs: Show US the Money, discusses the costs to create and the money-making opportunities out there, waiting for another inspiring creator… is it you? Keep on reading!

Chapter 8:

NFTs: Show Us The Money

Now that you know more about NFTs and been inspired by young creators, it’s time to know the financial aspects of diving into the NFT world. Here, we will know the significant costs in the NFT industry. And of course, we will see how much money can you make through investing in NFTs. You can read all about these and our key takeaways on this chapter!

Costs to Create Crypto Art

If you’re setting out to create digital assets yourself, the costs will vary depending on how you create and where you choose to list your NFTs. And costs are never set in stone. 

The following costs are probably here to stay:

  • Hardware costs and internet charges
  • Startup costs to establish your crypto wallet
  • Software costs after introductory (free) trial periods
  • Costs to design and maintain a website for self-promotion
  • NFT platform costs (while lazy minting and zero gas fees seemingly offer zero upfront costs, creators always face fees or commissions to pay. An NFT platform should always confirm its costs)
  • Gas fees for platforms that require minting to list digital assets. 

Takeaway: truly understanding the costs can also make some fees work in your favor. A great example is royalties. Some NFT contracts include ongoing royalty fees, so if (or when!) your NFT is traded by the buyer or sold to someone else, you’ll get a portion of the profits.

NFT Moneymaking Facts

Our NFT history section revealed some jaw-dropping success stories. Our inspiring NFT creators demonstrate that some artists have made successful projects and a realistic amount of money in the space. 

We’d like to highlight Miss Teen Crypto again because her business plan to go full-time in crypto is a pretty impressive mindset for a young entrepreneur. Her most lucrative NFT to date sold for $1,000, while other works sell for a surprisingly low $21, and she also has to pay her digital artists out of any profits she makes. 

While that doesn’t sound like a jackpot, Miss Teen Crypto admits that she’s “learning the ropes” and how to set up her “store.” Her intention to be in NFTs for the long haul as a true entrepreneur is where we think the big successes will happen in the future. Our next chapter explains this more!

Our Takeaway on the Real Value in Creating Your Own NFTs

If a DIY creator’s primary goal is to make millions, it might not be achievable. Check out our snapshots below of successful NFT projects that show the range in sold prices. Some digital assets like “Pudgy Penguin #1846” sold for a realistic “floor price,” while NFTs from the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” have achieved multimillion-dollar glory in the marketplace!

And here’s what some of the best creators have learned about what’s really important in the NFT space:

If you seek community, you’ll find plenty of great hangouts in the NFT space. From Discord to Reddit and especially Twitter (@LazyLionsNFT is waiting to welcome you to its pride!), it’s a great aspect of the NFT world that unites millions of people. Check it out!

Keep on reading because we dig into the abundant entrepreneurial possibilities in the next chapter: Customizing Your NFT Marketplace.

Chapter 9:

Customizing Your NFT Marketplace

At the time of this writing, anyone with experience in NFT marketplaces would agree that open-ended platforms and lazy minting offer the easiest entry points for creators coming into the space.

In this chapter, we will learn more about:

  • Customizing your NFT marketplace
  • Money-making Opportunities for entrepreneurs
  • DIY or Hire a Pro
  • Developing your NFT Marketplace
  • Ninja Design Studio

That’s Why OpenSea Exists...

And why OpenSea hit a record-high $1.5 billion valuation midway through 2021.

While it’s exciting news for the marketplace, real-world experiences for creators on peer-to-peer platforms vary from low (or no) sales to healthy (but modest) sales.

As a result, digital assets can get lost in the shuffle of an Amazon-like NFT marketplace.

That’s when you start to wonder…

Is it Possible To Customize Your Own NFT Marketplace?

We know that it’s definitely possible! And here’s why.

All hail to @digitalartchick for the wisdom. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a marketing business keen on NFTs, a custom NFT marketplace is like owning “a little of everything.” 

Here’s how we think of it:

It’s About Economics

The rapid success of OpenSea means open season for entrepreneurs looking for a shot in the NFT space. For added proof, do a web search for NFT marketplace valuations—there is room for everyone.

Somebody just paid $1.3 million for a picture of a rock:

It’s About Community

Understanding the marketing power of social networking is knowing what creates profit in NFTs. Community is the solid foundation beneath every successful NFT platform.

What is Bored Ape Yacht Club? The Celebrity NFT of Choice

It’s About Collections

CryptoPunks became one of the best-known NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain in 2017. In addition, CryptoPunks introduced perhaps the greatest elements in the space: rarity, uniqueness, and limited-edition collections—and limited-edition collections are just starting to explode.

It’s About Creativity

Make no mistake. NFTs are a technical beast. But the NFT landscape is ever-changing, and NFT marketplaces are shifting from overly techie to becoming focused on creators and creativity. But if you’re more entrepreneurial than artistic, you might consider yourself S.O.L. when it comes to the NFT craze, right?

Think again!

The economics of NFTs combine a successful formula of creativity, collections, and community. An entrepreneur that gets this knows that there are money-making opportunities within a broad-based community…a solid foundation quite unlike anything else in E-Commerce. 

Keep reading!

Money-Making Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in the NFT Space

People who only associate NFTs with creating their crypto art limit themselves to the possibilities of this new world. Smart individuals and businesses are just beginning to see the applications—and profit ventures—of NFTs across countless industries.

Here are some money-making opportunities for businesses or individuals in the NFT space:

Build Yourself an NFT Coliseum

Bitcointalk is an online forum for digital creators, NFT traders, and enthusiasts to meet, market, and conduct project sales. There’s plenty of room here for some healthy competition, and a forum can be made more lucrative with NFT-specific banner ads.

If You Ain’t an NFT Broker, Fix That

NFT brokers offer safe, encrypted virtual galleries to market NFTs on commission, and the demand is far greater now. As NFTs continue to be purchased in record numbers, becoming a broker in the space can be low-risk and high reward.

Go Shopify-ing

Consider what Shopify has done for E-Commerce. Now take that concept and make it NFT-specific. The blockchain is thirsting for services to develop NFT ventures. So if you want to set up shop like Miss Teen Crypto, the rewards could be sweet.

Commission Your Own NFT Digital Collection

Digital collections of NFTs have exploded because the medium is perfect for preserving and authenticating virtual collections. Therefore, commissioning your NFT collection could prove to be a profitable investment based on current trending and future projections. 

To illustrate that point, we’ve got one more cool NFT fun fact:

Another example of a hugely successful NFT “animal collection” is Pudgy Penguins (you’ll see on the link that almost 9,000 of these NFTs sold out). Pudgy Penguins got generated using code to create images with different traits (like hats, eyes, and skin color), and the results are thousands of colorful, adorable, collector-worthy creations.

DIY or Hire a Pro? (That is the Question…)

Sure, lazy minting has made it easier for DIY creators to go it alone. But for entrepreneurs with a wide-open view of future opportunities, sooner or later, the OpenSea platform can feel mighty closed-in.

As we’ve discussed, creating digital assets and listing on massive open platforms generally doesn’t succeed as a get-rich-quick scheme. Instead, you need to imagine what is beyond OpenSea to learn where true success is achievable in the space.

That’s why we’re focusing on customizing a NFT marketplace, and the essential part of customizing a platform is site development.

So…how hard is it to develop your own NFT marketplace?

Developing Your NFT Marketplace

Skill Level: Advanced

While the user focus of NFT marketplaces should feel breezy and creative, developing any NFT marketplace requires technical site setup and advanced developer knowledge beyond a basic understanding of code. 

It’s not impossible, but the learning curve is steep!

If you’re up for the challenge (or you simply want to grasp it so you can at least talk shop on NFT marketplace development), check out our list of developer resources (and common issues encountered by developers). 

We’ve also included some real-world examples of issues faced by NFT marketplaces for you to check out and file under “lessons learned.”

NFT School

Disclaimer: if you don’t have intermediate (and preferably higher) experience in coding, clicking on any NFT School tutorial is like cannonballing into a foreign language. However, they do warn you that NFT School is a no-frills site catering to (and graciously funded by) developers.

Costs to Mint

If you’re already in an eCommerce business, or you’re an entrepreneur who understands virtual overhead, gas fees, or minting is still required on some NFT platforms. But fees are far more accessible for businesses to cover than a lone creator. Case in point: the “Weird Whales” NFT collection sold by the wunderkind English coder cost him a very reasonable $300 to mint.

Issues With Lazy Minting

For all its pluses to creators and sellers of NFTs, lazy minting poses specific challenges to any developer, including:

  • Ensuring a limit on your NFT collection tokens
  • Changing the minting from the owner (you) to caller (buyer) to avoid gas fees
  • Specifying the number of tokens a caller can mint in a single transaction
  • Fixing the unique price for a token (or tokens)
  • Confirming that token supply meets the set limit

Issues With Site Maintenance

Owning a NFT marketplace is like owning property, and one task that bores many property owners is housecleaning and maintenance. But site maintenance is crucial for NFT marketplaces, as our example shows.

Real-World Site Maintenance Issue

The primary source of NFTs is traditionally URLs (links) between the NFT marketplace and a web host. If either of these sites breaks down, the link could be virtually erased, and the digital asset is lost. 

That’s why developers maintain a site and its assets through the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System), so specific assets aren’t locked to specific domains (URLs or links). Instead, it’s hosted by someone on IPFS and findable anywhere online through an IPFS address.

Issues With Security

All websites require strict security protocols with coded safeguards to prohibit malicious activity online. On NFT platforms, security issues include:

  • Blocking attempts by users to mint all available tokens in a marketplace
  • Advising users to enable two-factor authentication
  • Recommending transactions take place on an official NFT platform (not other social networks like Discord or Twitter)

Real-World Security Issue

In March 2021, buyers on NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway reported their crypto artwork stolen by hackers. Nifty Gateway confirmed the hacks in a statement but said no evidence existed that its platform got breached. However, they recommended that all users enable two-factor authentication on their platform and never apply the same password they use on other sites.

Issues With Servers and Bandwidth

The goal of any NFT marketplace is minting (selling) the hell out of your digital assets. But beware of bandwidth limitations, and take a lesson from other NFT platforms that have had to migrate to better servers because their sites crashed due to overabundant web traffic.

Real-World Server Issue

In September 2021, the Nafter NFT marketplace was swamped with thousands of digital assets minted within two hours of its launch. As a result, developers scrambled to upgrade the server and ensure that all assets remained safe on the platform until officially relaunching sales and minting.

Takeaway: Why boggle yourself down with the minutia when things are already moving so fast, and you could get left behind? It’s a good idea to work with an agency familiar with the highly technical aspects of the blockchain. 

Introducing: Ninja Design Studio

The team at Ninja Design Studio is yound, fun, and laser-focused on changing the perception of graphics and illustrations in crypto art forever. 

And that’s just the beginning. 

The Ninjas are reverse-engineering the greatness of artistic geniuses like Hayao Miyazaki, Charles M. Schultz, and Quentin Blake. They’re cutting the crap out of crypto art and filling the NFT space with effective illustrations that exude quality and fit your target audience perfectly. 

Here’s what you get when you work with Ninja Design Studio: experts who listen to you and execute your visions in graphics and illustrations, custom websites, Telegram stickers, animated logos and video guides, genius-level content, and custom NFT marketplaces.

Whatever your desires are in the virtual universe, the Ninjas take flight, and together, you and your Ninjas can do it all.

Custom Artwork & Illustrations

Design logos, mascots, illustrations, maybe a profile pic for your Telegram account—your imagination is the master here! 

Ninja Design Studio’s exclusive 3-rank system offers three price tiers with quality to suit your project or budget. You receive amazing illustrations in PNG or JPEG format (source files on request). 

Ninja Design Studio runs on professionalism, and our #1 priority is you. 

Check out our graphics!

Custom Websites

Ninja Design Studio creates custom, Ninja-class websites and NFT marketplaces—period.

Wherever your imagination takes you in landing pages, gigantic builds, complex content structures, super technical requirements… the Ninjas will build it. They even fix messy site builds, poorly developed projects, and abandoned projects.

Check out our websites!

Article Writing

We’ve all searched Google and found articles that made us cringe and realize… not all writing is created equal. But, at Ninja Design Studio, our simple and effective mantra is “Writing that doesn’t suck.”

Do you need BuzzFeed-type wordsmithing with GIFs? Or something more business-like for C-level execs? Our article Ninjas research in practically every niche. They write with wit and persuasion, delivering the perfect blend of information and entertainment.

Check out our writing!

Awesome Videos

With your Ninja videos, you stand out from the competition:

The Ninjas have you covered with pro voiceover videos, explainer videos, infographic videos, videos for Kickstarter, and 2D or 3D animated videos. Your custom video connects you to people—they receive your message and are inspired to take action!

Check out our videos!

NFT Creation

The demand for custom, attention-grabbing NFTs is growing—and the Ninjas know this because we’re experts in crypto and graphics! 

The Ninjas’ custom NFT bot script generates thousands of NFTs with top-of-the-line artwork and glorious appeal. Ninja Design Studio excels in fully-fledged animal, robot, or human NFTs with customizable trait rarities and thousands of randomly generated options. 

Check out our NFTs!

When a super Ninja designs your very own NFT collection and you want to show it off, our next chapter is about Showcasing NFT Art. So, keep on reading!

Chapter 10:

Showcasing NFT Art

There are wildly creative designers of crypto-art and technical wizards who code unique NFTs. Then, add the forward-thinking entrepreneurs commissioning collections and the community-minded enthusiasts buying digital assets and trading to like-minded individuals… 

These people inhabit the vibrant, virtual villages that have made NFT marketplaces explode with visibility and value. So what happens to all those NFTs?

NFT Showcases

While it’s true that many NFTs are marketed for selling, auctioning, or trading, other platforms do exist that bridge the gap between E-Commerce and artistic display.

NFT showcases allow the viewing public to like their favorite crypto-art, leave comments, and follow digital artists, even if you’re not a member of any specific NFT community.

Here’s one cool way that NFTs are showcased online in real-time:

Showtime

Clicking on Try Showtime is like strolling around a virtual art gallery, with fascinating, quirky, even controversial crypto-art continually uploaded for all to view:

There’s a news feed, a discovery page, and a trending page, and while you can view and explore as a lurker, it’s better to create a sign-in for posting comments and following the digital artists.

The Showtime platform isn’t considered a marketplace, but it is linked to OpenSea, and its digital artist pages list the owners who have purchased the creations.

Showcase is great as an open viewing platform, but if you’re keen on being a virtual gallery owner, here are some cool ways to accomplish that.

It’s an AR or VR Experience

I can’t think of a more futuristic way of showcasing NFTs than through AR (augmented reality) or VR (virtual reality) platforms. Check these out:

Spatial

Big businesses use this VR platform, as do independent entrepreneurs and just about anyone in between. You can create your lifelike avatar from a single selfie and host your virtual NFT gallery showing to invitees from anywhere!

Cryptovoxels

The Ethereum blockchain powers this virtual world within a “metaverse.” When you become a “player,” you can purchase “lands” and build “art galleries.” The virtual sky appears to be the only limit!

Capturing NFTs the Old Fashioned Way

Just when you thought there would never be a chance in hell of getting Grandma turned on to NFTs…how about an elegant, framed copy of your unique digital asset to display with her collection of family photos and heirlooms?

Digital art frames are hardly a new invention—framed digital photo albums have been popular for a while. But people have rediscovered digital frames to capture NFTs and digital assets physically, and these frames are among the most popular:

Infinite Objects

Create a permanent display copy of an NFT in a physical frame that requires no computer buttons to push or platform sign-in to view.

Meural

A WiFi-powered digital canvas is physically framed to display NFTs owned or curated in collections for viewing:

Although we’re almost at the end of our NFT guide, you probably get that this is only the beginning. Our final chapter is an exciting peek into the Future of NFTs. Keep on reading!

Chapter 11:

Future of NFTs

The future of Bitcoin has experienced uncertainties and a significant downward trend. But as anyone remotely familiar with the crypto space knows, the slow burnout of one “big” thing usually means something new is coming that’s probably even cooler, with greater possibilities and a better user experience.

NFTs got big fast, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere but up. As a result, Non-fungible (and now, semi-fungible) tokens remain poised to change the landscape of E-Commerce (and more!) forever. 

If you don’t believe us, check out a rich dude who knows a thing or two:

Mark Cuban Is Betting His (AI) Life on NFTs

As we prepared and wrote this guide, news broke that billionaire investor Mark Cuban (Shark Tank co-host and sports franchise owner) formed part of a private group buying a $16 million stake in Alethea AI.

Alethea is a Singaporean startup creating “artificially intelligent” NFTs with animation, interaction, and synthetic voices, allowing human beings to talk with NFTs.

And He’s Not Stopping There

Cuban is serious about the future of NFTs. As an owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, he’s considering how to turn tickets into NFTs. He’s also building an online gallery to display his NFTs, and he’s already auctioned off a Mavericks Game Day video experience in NFT format.

So Where Does That Leave the Rest of Us?

It’s easier to understand what’s possible with the future of NFTs when you apply real-world examples to it. And trust us, there are a ton of future possibilities. Check this out:

Identification Documents

Blockchain security protocols already point to how well NFTs could manage personal identification methods, including birth and death certificates, medical histories, driver’s licenses, visas, resident or vaccination passports. Digitally storing your identification via NFTs would give you easier, safer access to your data and may also prevent identity theft.

Certification documents

Blockchain technology may transform that college diploma on your wall into a tokenized memento soon. NFT codes are ideal for storing academic certificates like degrees or diplomas.

Digital or “Real” Real Estate

NFTs are already used for virtual real estate transactions, for example, in the super-popular gaming platform, Decentraland. NFTs store the IDs of creators, current owners, and future owners, so it may be possible to tokenize real-world property transactions, including titles and deeds.

Supply Chain and Logistics

Blockchain security may eliminate counterfeiting in supply chains (think fake designer goods), keeping data reliable. In addition, NFTs could ensure the quality and authenticity of goods, verify origins, and track how materials were recycled or made sustainable.

Thanks for reading our Ultimate NFT Guide for Aspiring Designers and Developers. We hope that we’ve enlightened you about the possibilities for designers, creators, and entrepreneurs in the NFT space.

At Ninja Design Studio, we see the future happening now. Contact us today for custom artwork and graphics!

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