NFTs have exploded in popularity over the past year. They are revolutionizing the art and music industries as many brands and creators are embracing NFTs as a way to connect with their fans.
With the right creator tools, NFTs can move beyond being pure collectibles into identity and access keys to a creator’s world that can provide the basis for long-term relationships between creators and their fans.
But what about buying NFTs as a fan to support your favorite creators? Will NFTs have long-term value for creators and their fans, or is buying an NFT a fad that's going to blow over soon? We can confidently say that NFTs aren’t a fad and have the power to help creators make a living over the long term. In fact, NFTs are one of the most exciting concepts of the 2020s.
What is an NFT?
An NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique digital asset that is completely owned by the creator. When we say it’s completely owned, that doesn't mean from a sentimental perspective; NFTs cannot be replaced or copied on the blockchain. Think of an NFT as a unique digital file that a creator can sell directly to a fan without a third-party platform needing to verify that ownership.
NFTs can represent any digital asset from art to music and even tweets.
Why should you sell NFTs
Thanks to the control and security blockchain technology provides, digital creators can fully own and protect their NFT assets. Here are some of the reasons why NFTs are a great option for creators:
- When someone owns one of your NFTs, there's a unique, verifiable relationship between the NFT creator and the NFT holder, which acts as a new-age digital fan club where you can build long-term relationships
- Unlike selling physical goods, you can set a royalty rate on your NFTs and earn money when your fans resell them
- NFTs are digital assets that exist outside of any one platform, which means you can take them (and your fans) across platforms and into new contexts
- NFTs are digitally native, meaning you can create them with the creative pipelines and output you're used to today, with lower overhead compared to managing an inventory of physical merch
You can port your audience anywhere and take advantage of future tools and platforms that become available. What if the day Tik Tok launched, you could transition your whole Patreon or Instagram audience over and take advantage of the new platform? NFTs power the portability of your fan relationships.
Selling NFTs is thus one of the best, more secure ways to build long-term relationships and make a living as a creator.
NFTs give creators control over the secondary market and help them, rather than platforms, generate passive income from it. In a world without blockchain, creators are victims of the secondary market; but with NFTs, they’re empowered.
For example, if a fan buys your limited album release or a piece of your art, then resells it, you lose out on all of the revenue from that secondary sale. With NFTs, you can passively earn as you grow your fanbase and grow your status & influence.
At the time of minting your NFT, you can set a predetermined royalty percentage that kicks in each time your asset is resold. So, for example, let's say you fix the royalty percentage as 10%. Then, if you decide to sell your digital artwork, you'll continue to make 10% off sales following the first one.
Better connect with your fans
NFTs open up innovative opportunities to delight your fans and financially sustain your creative endeavors. You can earn value from your work, create fan club style badges for your most loyal fans, and use NFTs as keys to give those who support you access to your world - the possibilities are endless.
Here are some ways you can use NFTs to connect with your fans more personally:
- Drop unreleased content: Package previously unreleased content, BTS materials, or additional info for your NFT holders.
- Provide exclusive or early access to tickets or merch: Tickets, products, digital goods and more can be packaged exclusively or early and gated for your early supporters.
- Create exclusive collectibles: Whether it's artwork or music, fans love distinguished collectibles that they can gather and show off.
- Create unique tickets: Hosting a virtual event or live stream? You might want to consider creating tickets that provide holders with special benefits, like one-on-one interactions or a shoutout.
- Loyalty badges: Give your biggest fans special NFT badges that they can show off and use to unlock special perks. You could give them exclusive digital content or special discounts.
Own & transport your relationship with fans
Most creators want to focus on creating while struggling to fund their work. Unfortunately, 3rd party platforms take advantage of this disconnect and use it to turn profits. With the advent of NFTs and no-code, creator-focused platforms, creators are empowered to take control.
With NFTs, you truly own your content. You can build royalty fees directly into the terms of the NFTs you sell to create passive revenue streams and create exclusive content to keep your fans engaged. At the end of the day, your relationship with your fans will be much more personal and ultimately support the work you do as a creator, compared to just getting Instagram likes.
How to make your first NFTs
NFTs are becoming increasingly popular because they empower creators and help them monetize their work. If you’re looking to test the NFT waters, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a complete step-by-step guide to take you through the whole process of making your very own NFT.
1. Plan your NFT drop
You can’t just wish for success with your NFT drop. You must have goals in mind. We recommend starting with a fan-focused NFT drop to deepen your relationship with your superfans. Consider what your NFT will unlock. Experiment by building a private page on Tellie.
2. Choose what to sell
You can turn any digital file you have the rights to into NFTs.
Examples of possible NFTs include pictures, images, paintings, music, memes, GIFs, tweets, video game collectibles, audio clips, and basically any form of digital art. Before you choose the assets to turn into NFTs, don’t be that person: make sure you have the legal right to do so.
3. Choose your blockchain
Picked the item you want to showcase? Great. Now you need to choose a blockchain to mint the digital item into an NFT. Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, Flow, and Tezos are some of the most popular blockchains for NFTs.
Ethereum is the most popular blockchain platform, thanks to its decentralized, open-source technology that carries the weight of the crypto world. Users can deploy smart contracts to Ethereum, which the blockchain’s powerful computers execute.
Polygon is a layer 2 built on Ethereum that addresses the scalability, environmental impact, and rising gas costs of Ethereum but is still compatible with the Ethereum ecosystem.
Solana is an alternative to Ethereum with speedy transactions that has gained traction among some creators.
4. Set up your digital wallet
After choosing your blockchain, you need to create a digital wallet if you don’t already have one. A digital wallet lets you store your cryptocurrencies and minted NFTs. It's important to pick a wallet that is compatible with your blockchain.
A few of our favorite digital wallets are Rainbow, MetaMask, and Coinbase Wallet. All three are compatible with Ethereum and Polygon, and the latter two are compatible with most non-Ethereum-based blockchains. We recommend Phantom Wallet for users on Solana. Users can set up these cryptocurrency wallets through the wallets’ respective mobile apps or browser extensions.
5. Select your NFT marketplace
The NFT marketplace you choose is the place where you sell your items. OpenSea, Rarible, and Zora are popular broad marketplace options for selling NFTs. We also love Catalog & Sound.xyz for selling music NFTs.
After picking an NFT marketplace, you can go ahead and connect it to your digital wallet. This is necessary to pay the transaction fees associated with NFT minting.
6. Create your NFT
After taking all the necessary steps, it’s finally the time to upload your file and mint your NFT. Most NFT marketplaces have detailed guides on how to get started. Some platforms even allow NFT collections to better organize NFTs with a similar theme.
Read the quick start guide for OpenSea, Rarible, and Zora. Want to mint outside of an NFT marketplace? Learn more about Manifold Studio below. To experiment with minting, we recommend Showtime, where you can mint your NFT for free on Polygon.
7. Begin selling your NFTs
In this final step, you'll need to decide how to approach your NFT sales. Some platforms let you set up a timed auction where the prospective buyers can only bid for an NFT in a limited time period.
Alternatively, some specific platforms offer unlimited auction time limits where you can end the auction whenever you like. Both these types of timed and untimed auctions require a minimum price that should cover the transaction fees at the very least.
You can also choose a platform that doesn't use bidding. The no-bid platforms instead let you sell NFTs at a fixed price to the first buyer that matches your listed price. This is a good option if you have a fixed price in mind for your asset and are looking to sell it quickly.
8. Add Value to Your NFT by Creating a Token-Gated Site in Minutes on Tellie
Once you have minted and sold NFTs, you can turn your NFT into more than a collectible that a fan can buy to support you. On Tellie, you can turn your NFT into a key that unlocks exclusive content and utility that can only be accessed by the fans who own your NFTs. Essentially, your NFT becomes a key to unlock your fan club!
You can create a Tellie page in minutes and include any content, information, products, event access that you want to make available to your NFT holders. Simply add an Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, or Binance Smart Chain token ‘gate’ to the page, and…voila only your token-holders (NFTs, social tokens, altcoins, etc.) can unlock it.
Tellie token gates support up to 3 tokens across multiple chains. Want to add a gate for supporters who own NFTs from multiple collections? Want to give both your social token and NFT holders access to the same exclusive content? All of this is possible on Tellie!
It’s perfect for:
🎶 Content drops (upload unreleased voice notes or tracks that hit the cutting room floor directly on your gated page!)
🛍 Merch drops (embed your Shopify store and your fans buy your products directly on your gated page!)
🧠 Exclusive info
🎟 Ticket pre-sales
✏️ Private forms
Tellie is currently invite-only but you add your email to the waitlist here for early access!
FAQs about making NFTs
When it comes to making and selling your own NFTs, things can seem a bit tricky. Here are some common questions NFT artists and enthusiasts have when they’re thinking of venturing into the NFT world.
Do I have to use a marketplace site to create an NFT?
No. Although many people do use a marketplace site to create an NFT, it’s not the only way. Instead, if you know how to code you can create your very own Ethereum smart contract for Blockchain transactions and then use it to mint your NFTs.
We recommend Manifold Studio if you’re ambitious and want to try it out. It allows creators to connect their wallets, create their own collection, and then mint NFTs which can then be listed for sale on a marketplace.
How much does it cost to create an NFT?
The cost of creating an NFT changes from day to day. The cost depends on how much usage a blockchain network is getting at any given time. Think of it as being similar to surge pricing with ride-shares.
With sustainable networks like Polygon, the cost is always pennies. The gas fees for Ethereum depend on congestion. You might also need to pay network fees to have the NFT listed for sale. These costs can be negligible or expensive ($150 - $1,000+) depending on the platform you use.
What's the cheapest way to create an NFT?
We recommend minting on Showtime. You can mint your NFT for free on Polygon. The downside is your NFT will be minted on a shared contract with other creators, which means you lose certain utilities like unique analytics and token-gated experiences for your fans.
NFTs have revolutionized the creator space, empowering artists with new tools for direct patronage and community building. Whether it’s digital artists, musicians, streamers, podcasters, 3D artists, and more – all creators can start to leverage NFTs as a new tool to earn a living and reward their fans.
Because of how popular NFTs have become, you have more options than ever for minting them. Start with a good concept, pick the right blockchain, and build a meaningful drop for your supporters.