NFTimes Volume 16 – How To Start An NFT Project By Yourself

how to start an nft project

If you have spent a decent amount of time in the NFT market, you have probably considered starting your own collection—especially when we see project founders making tens of millions of dollars in minutes by selling a few thousand profile pictures.

The technical difficulty it takes to start your own NFT project depends on what you want it to be. If all you want to do is focus on the community or artwork, you can probably do the whole thing yourself.

To create the NFTs, you have to deploy a piece of code called a smart contract to the blockchain. This sounds daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t even need to know how to code. Useful platforms like NiftyKit can generate the code for you and help you customize it in a few general ways. It’s a little basic and has plenty of limitations, but it works fine for simple collections.

OpenSea, the most popular NFT marketplace, makes the creation process as easy as possible. All you need is an Ethereum wallet from a platform like Metamask or Coinbase Wallet. Then navigate to the site, click “Create,” sign the transaction that pops up, and start creating your NFT.

How to Make a Project with Moonshot Potential

Starting your own small collection of NFTs on OpenSea or a similar platform is a great way to get your artwork out there. However, if you really want your project to blow up, you’ll need to do some more work.

Given the flood of new NFTs dropping every single day, the single most important thing you need to do is make yours stand out. Some teams do the exact opposite and try to copy an already successful collection. We usually call these derivatives and they often follow a hyped mint.

For example, a highly anticipated collection that just launched last week called Moonbirds has already spawned a ton of copycats. Before it even dropped, someone made a collection of NFTs with cryptopunk-shaped characters with Moonbird faces called Moonbirdpunks, showing off the staggering laziness of making derivatives. This works better than you might imagine with a low or free mint price, but they rarely last longer than a few days.

However, you don’t have to make your project entirely unique. Trends in NFTs matter much more than in any other financial market. Investors like to buy NFTs similar to others that have succeeded in the past. The best recent example of this is anime. A new collection called Azuki, featuring incredibly unique anime-inspired art, launched this January. After its reveal, the market loved the art so much that the collection pumped to a 10 ETH floor in a few days.

Within a couple of weeks, 5-10 new anime collections debuted, and many of them rushed out their mint. Everyone was searching for another Azuki, so traders bought up anything with anime-related art.

Predictably, the wave of hype crashed, and most of the first round of anime projects died off. However, the ones that took the time to build a community and stand out within the anime trend, like MURI and Everai, stayed around.

Some projects are exceptions to the rule of trends in NFTs, especially on the other end of the scale. If your project is incredibly unique and innovative, it can catch the attention of traders much easier.

Being first at anything is quite the boon, especially when that thing becomes a massively popular trend. That’s partially why Ether Orcs, the first fully on-chain play-to-earn (P2E) NFT game, performed so well.

How To Start An NFT Project

When it was released, P2E was far from popular in NFTs. Profile picture collections and generative art were the names of the game. The team built an amazing P2E platform, inspiring many other successful projects to follow in their footsteps. Now P2E is one of the biggest trends in the market, with new games dropping almost every other day.

The Ether Orcs team helped spark a P2E revolution with their technical and creative innovations, and the collection’s price reflects that.

However, not everyone can invent the wheel.

Instead, most projects start out with proven concepts and try to make unique tweaks. They fall somewhere within a general popular trend while also standing out from the other collections within the trend.

Out of the tens or hundreds of P2E games raring to launch right now, only a few are complete copies of previous games. They would likely fail otherwise, but most still use common game mechanics as a foundation. However, many of us are sick of the same old framework in all of these games, in part because it almost always leads to collapse.

Some projects take the chance at changing the game completely. Sure, they have a higher risk of failing, but they are also much more noticeable to traders.

A new P2E called Meta and Magic designed its mechanics to be wildly different from its competitors to try to catch the eye of investors. Their new system has a decent chance of failing, but they at least have our interest. It remains to be seen if this risk will pay off for them.

But How do I Actually Start the Project?

You might already have a great idea that just needs to be executed. If you are doing more than a small collection of simple art NFTs, you will almost certainly need some kind of help. Luckily, NFTs are a part of Web3, where almost everyone is looking for work. Finding freelancers, or full-time teammates is far easier than you might think. There are a few main resources that are vital for searching for candidates.

Teams usually need at least these few basic members to succeed: an artist, a developer (or someone who can create the code with a generator), a community manager, and usually a marketer/social media manager.

Twitter and Discord host most everything in the world of NFTs, including a lot of the networking and hiring. Plenty of Web3-focused artists, developers, writers, marketers, NFT founders, and more are looking for work with NFT projects like yours. Most of them are friendly and open to chatting about opportunities in their direct messages on Twitter or Discord. There’s no harm in shooting them a message to gauge their interest or ask for advice.

You can also use platforms like Upwork and Fiverr to find contractors to complete parts of your project like the art or the smart contract.

If you are planning on making a complex project that requires a unique smart contract like a P2E game, make sure you can find a developer with the right skills. The market is dearly lacking competent software developers with knowledge of Solidity, the base language of Ethereum, right now.

If you can find one, they won’t come cheap. Luckily, launching an NFT project can be ridiculously lucrative, so if it all works out, you shouldn’t have any trouble paying your team well.

Once you have your team, you are ready to start building!

So what do you think? Are you ready to bring your first (or perhaps your next) NFT project to the world?


Do you want to learn more about NFTs and keep up with the rapidly evolving market? Check out some of our favorite editions of The NFTimes:

Want to keep up with Henry and NFTs 24/7? Join him in AlphaMint’s dedicated NFT Discord server.

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