NOTE: This guide is for NFT Creators and those who want to launch their own NFT collection on the OpenSea marketplace. If you’re looking to learn how to buy NFTs on OpenSea, please refer to this guide.
Prior to the year 2021, most people had no idea what non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were, or what the word even meant. In fact, Google trends data shows that interest in NFTs didn’t start building until around February/March 2021, with a steep increase in interest following in the coming months.
Even more interesting is the growing value of the NFT market which surged to a staggering $41 billion market in 2021 in a rapid chase of the regular art market. The most expensive NFT ever sold to a single owner was a digital art by Beeple which was auctioned for a dizzying $69 million.
Put simply, NFTs have become a staple digital landscape, and are here to stay for the long run. These unique assets are issued on the blockchain, with Ethereum and Solana being the most popular blockchains for NFTs.
Today, a number of brands have jumped on the NFT bandwagon to ride the hype. Traditional art auction house Christie began auctioning NFTs last year, and many celebrities have either created NFTs of their own, or are proud owners of some NFT.
If you’re looking to get in on the NFT bandwagon, too, you may have found that OpenSea is the most popular NFT marketplace out there. It is also a great place to go if you’re looking to create your own NFTs.
In this article, we’d be discussing how you can do just that – mint your first NFT – on OpenSea. First, we’d consider what OpenSea is and what makes it great, before going into a step-by-step presentation of how you can mint an NFT on OpenSea.
What Is OpenSea?
OpenSea is a decentralized NFT marketplace for buying, selling, storing, and creating NFTs. Founded in 2017 by Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, the company dubs itself as “the world’s first NFT marketplace”.
It is also the world’s biggest marketplace; a fact underscored in January 2022 as it surpassed $3.5 billion in monthly trading volume, while averaging $169 million in daily trading volume. It accounted for 56% of NFT transactions in 2021, with a total trading volume of $14 billion.
This is a marketplace similar to any you’re already familiar with – think eBay, Amazon or Etsy – there is a buyer on one side and a seller on the other. But unlike the products listed on those platforms, OpenSea lists digital collectibles stored on the blockchain in the form of NFTs.
Powered by Wyvern Protocol (an Ethereum-based smart contract), OpenSea is a decentralized, peer-to-peer platform that facilitates direct transactions between users. Like blockchain itself – and unlike e-commerce marketplaces, this platform is “trustless”.
This means that no central authority controls transactions on the platform. Instead, every transaction is facilitated by a self-executing smart contract. This automatically-executed contract ensures no buyers cannot make payments without receiving their NFT, or receive NFTs without payment.
Despite running on an Ethereum-based smart contract, OpenSea has expanded its operations to include the Polygon and Klatyn blockchains. This means users can buy NFTs created on any of these blockchains on OpenSea.
Also worth mentioning is that OpenSea takes a 2.5% fee on every transaction. Likewise, creators are able to set up royalty fees (up to 10%) for every time their art is resold on the marketplace.
What is NFT Minting?
Minting is a process that creates new cryptocurrency tokens without involving a central authority like the government or bank. This can be done with either a non-fungible token (NFT) or a crypto coin.
When an NFT is minted, the cryptography used in its minting (tokenization) registers the name of the owner in the blockchain. It also stores other details about the NFT, such as its name, description, traits, and a link to the hosted image if it isn’t hosted directly on the blockchain.
Minting an NFT is a different process. NFTs are added to the Ethereum blockchain and are used by creators to sell their photos, videos, and digital 3D objects.
To mint an NFT, users need a cryptocurrency wallet with Ethereum in it. Then they sign up on an NFT marketplace, like OpenSea, and create their new NFT by uploading their desired file and paying for it in terms of ETH. Once the transaction is verified, a new NFT is created.
Essentially, this is the process of turning your digital image/video/gif into an NFT, and this process can get rather tedious and highly technical if you have to handle all of it yourself.
Thankfully, platforms like OpenSea handle the cryptographic technicalities behind the scene, leaving you to focus on your art.
You’d still have to input those details when creating your NFT, but you do this like you’re filling out a form on the web, rather than via complex cryptographic programming.
How to Mint an NFT on OpenSea
New users on OpenSea are expected to register an account to begin interacting with, or minting NFTs on the platform. Because NFTs are created and stored on the blockchain, you’d need to create a crypto wallet and connect it to your OpenSea account.
With your account created and connected to a wallet, you can now proceed to create an NFT collection with your desired image and NFT details. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting into how to do all of this in a bit.
Note that MetaMask is one of the most popular wallets out there, and is very easy to set up. It is also our wallet of choice for this guide.
For the sake of this guide, we’d assume you don’t already have a MetaMask wallet and walk you through the process. We’d also be assuming you’re downloading it on your computer.
PS: If you already have a wallet, you can follow through to see how to set up your wallet on your PC browser for easy connection to OpenSea.
Part 1: Creating a MetaMask Wallet
1.First, you’ll need to download the MetaMask wallet software that’s compatible with your browser by visiting the official MetaMask website (MetaMask.io). Note that there’s browser extensions for the Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Brave web browsers.
2. Click on the “Download now” button to get to the download page.
3. If you use any of the supported browsers, it should automatically highlight your browser on the download page. Click on the “Install MetaMask for Chrome” button and follow the prompt.
PS: The button will reflect the name of your detected browser.
4. Once you’ve successfully installed the extension, navigate to the extension icon in the top right corner of your browser and find the MetaMask icon. Click the “Get Started” button to proceed.
5. You will be presented with two options: 1. Importing an existing wallet using your secret recovery phrase. 2. Creating a new wallet.
- Select “Create a wallet” to create a new wallet
- If you already have a wallet, select “Import wallet” to import your already existing wallet. You’d be prompted to insert your recovery phrase at the next step.
6. Agree to the disclaimer on the next page, and create a password at the prompt. Be sure to keep this password secure by writing it somewhere. You’d need the password each time you want to access the account.
7. Finally, you’ll be shown your ‘Secret Recovery Phrase’ which will be the gateway to your account on other devices. Again, write down this phrase. Confirm the phrase when prompted and your setup is complete.
PS: Do NOT store either your password or your recovery phrase digitally to avoid the potential of compromise.
Part 2: Connecting MetaMask to OpenSea
With your wallet setup, it’s time to set up an account on OpenSea by connecting your wallet to the platform.
1. Go to opensea.io and find the profile icon at the top right bar. Click on ‘Profile’.
2. On the page that appears, you’d be prompted to connect your wallet. Select MetaMask.
3. Next, you’ll be prompted by MetaMask to grant OpenSea the necessary permissions to use your wallet. Finally, you’ll see a “Connect” button. Click the button to connect and create your account.
4. To check your wallet balance, click the wallet icon at the top right of your screen. From here, you can click on ‘Add Funds’ if you’d like to fund the account.
And with that, your account is ready for your NFT creation/minting. But there’s something else you must do first…
Part 3: Creating your NFT Collection
So far, so good, yeah? Every NFT created on OpenSea must be part of a collection. Now it’s time to create your first NFT collection. Ready?
1.To create your first collection, navigate to your profile icon and select ‘My Collections’.
2. To create a new collection, click the ‘Create a collection’ button.
3. On the page that appears, you’d be prompted to build out your collection by uploading a logo image, featured image, and banner image.
Disclaimer: A random jpeg found on the internet is used for the purpose of this demonstration.
4. You’ll also need to fill out the name, URL, and other unique properties of your collection – such as its description, category, website and social links, and royalty percentage.
5. Carefully fill out the rest of the form. This is where you decide whether you’d be collecting royalties, what blockchain your collection will be built on, and your desired payment token (more on these in a bit).
6. Finally, click the ‘Create’ button at the bottom to create your first collection. A published collection should look like this:
Now that your collection is ready, you can finally begin minting your NFTs and populating your collection with them.
Part 4: Minting your first NFT on OpenSea
If you’ve followed all the way down here, you’re in the final leg. It’s time to mint your first NFT on OpenSea. Remember that you don’t have to deal with all of the technical blockchain stuff as the platform will be handling that for you.
1.On your NFT collection page (pictured above), click the ‘Add Item’ button at the top right corner.
2. On the next page, upload your digital artwork (this could be an image, gif, audio, or video file). For this guide, I’d be using the same image as before:
3. Now it’s time to fill out all of those details that’ll make up the metadata of your NFT. Add a name, a link to your website details page about the NFT (if any), and a description.
4. Your collection should be automatically set to the collection you’ve been working on. If it isn’t, be sure to select it from the dropdown options.
5. Now add the properties of the NFT, such as if it belongs to a class and subclass, or if it has any specific qualities you want to highlight.
6. You can also add levels and stats – if your NFT has any. Levels are defined as the numerical traits of your NFT which show up as a progress bar, while stats are numerical traits that appear as numbers.
7. Finally, you’d get to select the supply (how many copies of the NFT that can be created), blockchain, and whether there’d be any hidden content in the art.
8. Once you’re done filling out all the categories you wish to fill out, click on ‘Create’ to mint your NFT.
9. And, voila!! You’ve successfully minted your first NFT on OpenSea!
Now you can begin selling your own NFT on the OpenSea marketplace, and join in earning from the fast-growing NFT market.
Things to Consider When Minting an NFT on OpenSea
1. Royalty Fees (Creator Earnings)
Royalty fees are the fees you receive whenever your NFT is sold by a third party. It gives you the ability to turn your art into an infinite earning pool long after you’ve sold it off.
To understand how royalty fees work, imagine the following scenario:
Let’s assume you inserted a 5% royalty fee on your NFT during creation. Let’s also assume you were able to generate good hype around it, and sparked off a bidding war that resulted in a sale of the NFT for 1 ETH.
As the owner of the work, you receive your complete 1 ETH. But if the buyer gets someone to pay, say, 5 ETH for the artwork, you’d receive a 5% commission (0.25 ETH) on the sale. And you would continue to receive this commission on every sale thereafter.
While this is a great source of continuous passive income for creators, it may deter buyers from purchasing the art as they won’t be receiving the full fee for their sales in future. On the other hand, they may be forced to overprice it, thus making it harder for them to sell it off.
If you must include royalties on your art, OpenSea recommends keeping it below the 2.5% mark (you can set royalties to a maximum of 10%).
2. Gas Fees
If you’ve been around the crypto space for a while now, you’ve probably heard about the infamous gas fees. These are payments made by users of a blockchain to compensate for the computing energy required to power the blockchain.
As you may have noticed when following the steps above, you don’t need to pay any gas fees to successfully mint your NFT. That fee is kept, instead, for when the NFT gets listed for sale.
For a first time listing, you would also have to pay a one-time fee to initialize your wallet, in addition to the gas fee required to approve the listing of the NFT for sale.
Note that the gas fee you would pay depends on the level of network congestion (usage) at the time of your creation. When the network is free, processing transactions takes lesser energy and cost you a lot less than at peak hours when the network is congested.
Also note that OpenSea’s new collection manager allows old users (who have already listed NFTs in the past) to defer gas fee payment until after the NFT is sold.
Another important consideration when creating your NFT is the blockchain platform of choice. If you choose to create an NFT on OpenSea, you’d be limited to just three options:
As the largest blockchain in the world, there are certainly many advantages to minting your NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. But ridiculous gas fees have made the Ethereum blockchain increasingly intolerable by many.
There’s also a host of thriving NFT blockchains outside of OpenSea, from Solana to Cardano, Tezos, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, etc.
If your desire is to have your project hosted on one of these other networks, you’d need to look outside of OpenSea for your NFT minting needs.
There you have it, your complete guide to minting an NFT on OpenSea. If you’ve implemented the guide to this point, you should be on your way to earning your first dollars from an NFT.
Minting on OpenSea isn’t nearly as difficult or as technical as many fear it is. All you need is an Ethereum wallet, your digital collectible, and some time to fill in your desired details on the platform. The platform’s engine will do all of the heavy lifting for you!
If you’re also interested in investing in NFTs by other creators, you would love our NFT guides that discuss some of the coolest NFT collections we’ve found. You can check them out here.