NFTs have been blowing up recently turning average, everyday people into overnight millionaires.
Some of the most popular NFT collections, such as the Cryptopunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, have been seeing massive gains over the last year.
Both collections have well over a billion dollars in trading volume making them extremely successful projects.
From the outside looking in, these are silly-looking pieces of trash that are being bought and sold for crazy amounts of money.
It must be difficult to create your own NFT collection, so why bother?
Well, what if I told you that it's not? What if I told you that you can have your own NFT collection ready to be sold within a few weeks?
Ever since I swallowed my ego and accepted the fact that I was wrong about NFTs, I have been looking for ways to learn about NFTs and educate myself on the topic.
I have struggled to find a simple blog or video that explains the process from A-Z and so I wanted to create one myself!
Today, we're exploring how you can create your own 10K NFT collection from scratch without any coding or art experience.
The artistic concept
First and foremost, we're going to want to think of the artistic concept of our collection.
Punks, kittens, apes, and animals in general - these are all very popular designs that many collections are based on.
While there are many people who believe in being different, I think that replicating what works is a surefire way of making the least amount of errors possible.
However, it is completely up to you.
This is almost like thinking of a business idea - what does the concept look like? What will it do? How will it look?
Some might argue the fact that you don't need any artistic senses - the Cryptopunks might be some of the most basic 'pieces of art' to ever exist, yet they've amassed a trading volume of almost a million Ethereum.
Gary Vee, one of my favorite entrepreneurs, also has his own NFT collection - I wouldn't call him Picasso, however, he's made millions (hundreds of millions) from his NFT collection.
In my opinion, I think that the better your artwork looks, the higher its perceived value could be.
The artwork generation
One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is trying to create all 10,000 pieces of their collection by hand.
Although you could, this is extremely inefficient, unless you're using it as your unique selling point.
Once you've figured out your NFT collection idea, you'll want to work on creating the art itself.
I'm assuming that a lot of us are not artists by any means, and so our best option is to go on Fiverr or Upwork and look for talented artists who are willing to help us create our collection.
If you want to create the art yourself, you can use any one of the thousands of software out there to create your art.
Start with the Adobe suite if you're stuck or visit a course on Skillshare.
You want to have 'traits' which can be anything you think of in terms of eyes, ears, face, hats, clothing, jewelry, and so on.
So how do we magically turn our layers into 10,000 pieces of NFT art?
The answer is code.
Before you click off the article, don't worry! It's a simple process that doesn't require any coding experience.
Before I explain, there are SaaS tools out there you can use to generate your art, however, I'd suggest you do not use them.
The process of generating art with code is free and extremely easy.
The only things you'll need are:
- Visual Studio Code,
- Github codes.
You can then watch this simple YouTube video that explains the rest of the generative process because it would be impossible for me to explain it all here.
The road ahead
Now you might have your artwork ready, however, that does not mean you're ready to go and be the next NFT millionaire.
Your collection needs some important pieces to spice things up.
You're going to want to make sure you have:
- A backstory
The backstory is a short and engaging story or build-up that tells people why you've created your NFT collection.
Is it based on something?
Is it a completely new story you want to create?
Think of why people might want to engage with your NFTs.
Gary Vee's VeeFriends are special because they all symbolize a specific character/emotion.
The sympathetic squid symbolizes... well, sympathy.
On top of this, they get their value from the smart contracts which we'll discuss later on.
- A roadmap
The roadmap is like your business plans for the future.
When you have investors, you need to tell them how you're going to continue to grow their investment by developing the business.
This is the same with NFTs! Think of your NFT holders as your investors, they're investing in you - trusting you to increase the value of their investment by developing the collection.
The roadmap is an easy way of telling people about the plans you have in store for the project.
What will you do in the future to carry on increasing the value of your collection?
This can include:
- Airdrops to your holders
- New collections on top of this one
- Game development
- Metaverse development
- In real life rewards
I suggest looking over popular NFT collection websites and getting an idea of what they plan to do with their collections, but don't copy!
It's important that you keep your word here - no one will trust you if you promise the world and don't deliver.
Building the community
Aside from the roadmap, you're going to have to focus all of your time, effort, and energy on building a large and engaged community.
You can do everything right, however, if you don't have people that are interested in your collection, it will go nowhere.
Once again, this can relate to business.
You can build the best product or service, however, if your marketing is terrible, it's pointless.
If there is no one that knows about your business, then it doesn't matter whether you have the best product or service - no one will ever buy it.
Community building is an extremely important skill to learn as an entrepreneur, and I'm happy that I started to pursue this before jumping into NFTs.
When you're able to build a community, the rest doesn't matter as much - the art and the roadmap aren't as important as the community itself.
This is because your NFT collection will have a limited number of NFTs while the demand for them increases, effectively making each NFT more valuable.
You want to focus all your time and energy on Twitter and Discord because this is where people who are involved in NFTs hang out.
Aside from this, you can have an Instagram account to leverage visual marketing.
How do you build a community?
I've spoken about building personal brands as well as doing content marketing before.
However, for NFTs, you want to leverage the people who have the communities already.
This means finding influencers and big players in the NFT space and partnering with them to grow your NFT community.
At this current time, people are responsive and open to new projects, however, this behavior may quickly diminish.
If you've got budget, you can try to run paid advertising by setting up and running Facebook ad campaigns.
Don't overthink this process - as long as you work on building a real community, and spend time every day engaging and giving more than you take, it will work.
Setting up the smart contract
This is where things can get slightly complicated.
If you don't have any coding experience it can be very difficult to set up the smart contracts on your own.
Add the fact that we need to think about gas fees, the blockchain/network we'll deploy on, then there's a lot to think about.
We can, once again, solve this problem by finding a trustworthy freelancer on Fiverr, however, it's a lot more cost-effective if you do it all yourself.
Now that my friend and I have mastered the NFT process, we've even set up gigs to help others with the entire process (message me on LinkedIn or Twitter if you want me to help).
However, similar to the generation process, we're going to use a few different things to create the NFT smart contract:
- Remix (for Ethereum),
- Visual Studio Code,
- A new Github code.
We will already have two of the four things we need, and so the rest can be done on Remix, using the new Github code.
Once again, you'll want to watch this video to set up the smart contract as explaining it on here will get overly complicated.
This is where a big decision needs to be made - which blockchain will you deploy on?
There are three popular blockchains that most NFT collections are deployed on.
The Ethereum blockchain, the Polygon blockchain, and the Solana blockchain.
Ethereum is the most popular and so the biggest investors and supporters will be on this blockchain.
There is one big problem to deploying on Ethereum - the gas price.
This is a fee people have to pay every time something is done on the blockchain - since Ethereum is the most popular, it has the highest gas fees and it's a problem people are actively trying to solve.
Solana and Polygon are solutions to this extreme gas price, however, you most likely won't be able to charge higher prices for your collection.
At the current time of writing, 1 ETH is about $3750 while 1 MATIC (Polygon) is about $2.40.
To launch a collection on the Ethereum blockchain, you'll need to pay around $1000 worth of Ethereum while the prices on other blockchains are much lower.
If you have developers behind your project, you can include some amazing things in your smart contract to ramp up the value of your NFTs.
Gary Vee's NFTs have some cool smart contracts where buying an NFT essentially gives the holder access to VeeCon, talks with Gary, dinner with Gary, and much more.
Learn more about smart contracts in my article on NFTs and how they work.
Side note: Before creating the smart contract, you'll want to upload your artwork to IPFS so that it's visible when people mint your NFTs. A simple service you can use to help you with this is Pinata.cloud.
The minting process
You're now ready to mint your NFTs.
Minting NFTs refers to the process of turning a digital file into a crypto collectible or digital asset on the blockchain.
Once again, we have two options here.
We can mint everything ourselves and let people trade it on NFT marketplaces like Opensea, or we can get our community to mint the NFTs.
Depending on the blockchain you chose to deploy on, you're going to have gas fees associated with minting.
If you deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, minting all 10,000 NFTs yourself may cost you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in gas fees alone.
This isn't the traditional method people use when they create NFT collections.
If you're a digital creator making one-off pieces, minting NFTs on NFT marketplaces yourself might be the right move, however, it definitely isn't when you have a collection of 10,000 NFTs.
The best-case scenario is getting your community to mint all your NFTs, meaning selling out your stock.
If you've created a visually appealing collection, have a strong backstory and roadmap that builds trust with a community you've spent time building, nurturing, and engaging, you should be able to sell out fairly quickly.
Hapebeast, one of the biggest upcoming NFT collections, is going to launch later on in January with over 500,000 members in their Discord group.
They're likely to sell out within seconds based on the hype they have around their project.
They will have their community mint their NFTs, and so the gas fees are all paid for by the people minting the NFTs.
To give your community the opportunity to mint NFTs, you'll need to build a minting decentralized application - or in layman's terms, a minting page.
Like all the other technical things so far, we will use Github, Visual studio code, and Node.js once again.
Here's a very simple and effective video I found that explains how you can build the minting website quickly.
To provide a high-level overview, you'll need to open the Github file in Visual studio code, enter a command in the terminal, and then edit the 'config.js' tab, filling in your own information.
Please watch the video to see the process fully.
Well, what now?
If you've followed along, you should have created an NFT collection, launched, and sold out.
At this point, there's no time to catch your breath - it's only just starting to get fun.
You'll have a significant sum of capital that must be invested back into the project in order to ensure long-term success of the project.
You might be thinking, "well, what now?"
Here's where you go through the roadmap and fulfill everything you said you will fulfill on your roadmap, starting from the bottom.
Depending on how quickly you sold out, you'll have more or less things to fulfill on the roadmap.
Ideally, you'll want to have sold 100% of your NFTs, giving you only more work to do after, however, you now can say you have a successful NFT collection.
Like any business, you now need to carry on developing the project, building up the community, partnering with other projects, and constantly getting the community involved.
Don't forget to take a moment to appreciate how far you've come - NFTs and the metaverse is an entire mountain, and we're all right at the bottom.
There is so much left to explore going into the future, and given the fact that Facebook has invested into the metaverse, changing their name into Meta, Adidas and other big brands are diving into NFTs, it's safe to say they're here to stay.
That's how to create your own 10K NFT collection from scratch in 2022, without any experience.
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