When I first came up with the idea of Seed Poems as non-fungible tokenized art poetry, I radically underestimated the effort involved in the process of minting NFTs. Frantically googling “how to sell NFT art” didn’t result in one simple article telling me how, as if the search engines weren’t even impressed by how feverishly I typed! What I aim to do here is spell out the technical aspects of making an NFT, as I wish could’ve been laid out for me.
A quick note: there’s an unsavory aspect about making NFT art/poems that I learned the hard way and would prefer for you to learn the easy way right now: It costs money (technically Ethereum) in order to list your NFTs for sale. Smart contracts (the brilliant medium of exchange for NFTs) cost money. Yes, it’s frustrating to pay in order to sell something as it smacks of a MLM type scheme—but in this case we are getting to list as many NFTs as we want in a searchable, easy to use interface. Plus, it means we don’t have to learn code in order to sell our art!
The good news is that I found a way to list all the NFTs I ever want to create for around $100. The bad news is that I made an expensive mistake before that, and spent countless hours that could’ve been spent writing more poetry. Here’s hoping that saving you time and money will result in gorgeous and fascinating NFTs that make these little annoyances well worth it.
In case you’re brand new to the crypoverse, a wallet is just what it sounds like—a digital version of the one you carry around in your pocket or purse. This will allow you to seamlessly create the smart contracts involved in NFTs as well as a place to be paid when your awesome new art is purchased.
In order to be able to sell, you’ll need to load your wallet with some Ethereum—the amount you need will vary based on the current price (as well as the gas fees and how long you’re willing to wait), but I loaded my account with about $100 worth.
This step is pretty straightforward--just follow the link above and fill in the various profile choices. Also, link your active MetaMask wallet to your OpenSea profile.
Step 3: Create an NFT
It’s possible you’ve already created the artwork or poem you plan to sell which of course will make this step radically faster! Though not strictly necessary, I recommend exploring OpenSea more generally before clicking to create your NFT in order to have a better idea for how your listing could look once completed. Take a second to favorite NFTs that inspire you! Note: You may be asked to sign with your MetaMask wallet at various points of using OpenSea—so make sure you can login.
Once you’ve crafted your NFT masterpiece and scoped out the site, the basic process starts with clicking “create” on the OpenSea homepage. You’ll simply upload your NFT and then fill in a series of options. You can include unlockable content like my Seed Poem collection and features you want to highlight in the “properties” section. Make sure to craft a nice description!
Once you have the listing details complete, double check the listing, then click to create. The NFT will be visible, but in order to actually be able to sell your NFT, you will have to continue to the last step.
Step 4: Sell your NFT
At this point you’ve accomplished a lot—created your artwork/poem and then jumped through the hoops in order to mint your non-fungible token. When viewing your NFT (and logged in to both MetaMask and OpenSea) you’ll need to click the “Sell” button.
Next, we have to pay. OpenSea’s blog explains, “If you’ve never sold on OpenSea before, you’ll need to pay a gas fee before you can list. This transaction, which essentially creates a personal trading smart contract for your wallet, is currently expensive due to congestion on the Ethereum blockchain but you only have to do it once. If you decide to list the items in a currency that isn’t ETH, you’ll also be asked to approve that token for trading which incurs another (much smaller) gas fee. Again, this is a one-time fee so the second time around you won’t have to pay a cent.”
I’d love to be able to tell you how much it will cost to get your NFTs up for sale, but the wild fluctuations in gas fees and Ethereum mean that I would have to be a crypto-psychic (and if I was I may put that power to use in a slightly different way :D ). In an attempt to do it as cheaply as possible, I modified MetaMask’s suggested gas fee to the lowest it would possibly accept me to sign—then I waited. At some point during a week’s gap in checking, the transaction went through and I can sell any NFTs on OpenSea through my profile, and it also allows me to have different collections—right now I have my Seed Poems as well as a more general NFT Poetry collection.
If you didn’t make as many errors along the way that hurt your budget—I’m looking at you, lone NFT I paid over $100 to list on Rarible—and just want to be able to sell your NFTs ASAP, then it may make more sense to just suck it up and pay the higher gas fees. I can’t say for sure, but I believe that would’ve been around 2.5x the price when I did this all a few months ago. In any case, at least glancing at the gas fees beforehand could help you to pay a little bit less—even if you don’t go about it like Scrooge/me.
Congratulations, you’ve listed your first NFT and I can’t wait to see it—even more so if it happens to be poetry! I promise your next NFT will take radically less time to mint, and the same will be true for the thousands of NFTs you create on the road to becoming the next Beeple! To expand your NFT art to other platforms, check out my page on minting NFTs on the Tezos blockchain.