By Maxwell Shirhall 3:07 pm PST

With the recent explosion of the NFT market, it’s unsurprising that more and more people are looking to create their own in hopes of cashing in on the hype. Although the idea of creating an NFT may sound daunting at first, the process isn’t as complicated as you may think. By following a few relatively straightforward steps, anyone can create their own NFT from any piece of intellectual property. While the most popular form right now is digital pictures, NFTs can be also be music, GIFs, memes, and much more. The only catch is that you must own the content that you’re looking to turn into an NFT. Trying to monetize someone else’s intellectual property will likely spur some legal issues.

Selecting a Blockchain

Once you know what you’d like to turn into an NFT, the next thing to consider is where you’d like to create it. This decision will affect what blockchain your NFT is on, which potential platforms you can use for trading it, and the cryptocurrency that will be needed to trade it. While the most popular option is the Ethereum blockchain, it’s only one of the many choices. Others like Tezos, Cardano, Binance, Solana, and Flow all offer alternatives, each coming with their own unique set of advantages and drawbacks.

Choosing a Trading Platform

When you’ve chosen a blockchain, the next decision you’ll have to make is which platform you’d like to use to trade your NFT. While popular platforms like OpenSea are often the most intuitive and have the highest traffic, you’ll want to consider other factors like your NFT’s niche. Niche platforms like NBA Top Shot Marketplace for basketball NFTs and others like Axie Marketplace and Fractal for videogame NFTs offer filtered NFT collections. More specific markets offer a two-fold advantage: Not only is your NFT less likely to be lost among the sea of other options, but the buyers on those marketplaces are only looking for that specific type of NFT. By doing a bit of research and choosing a platform that better suits your NFT, you can increase the odds of its success on the market.

Setting up a Digital Wallet

Before you can create your NFT or trade it to potential buyers, you’ll need a crypto wallet. When doing so, keep in mind that there are different types of digital wallets for different types of cryptocurrencies. For this reason, it’s best to select your preferred blockchain and trading platform first so that you can make a wallet for the correct cryptocurrency. Some of the more popular wallet options include Coinbase Wallet, AlphaWallet, Metamask, Trust Wallet, and Mycelium to name a few. Once you’ve gotten your wallet set up, it’s time to purchase some cryptocurrency.

“Minting” Your NFT

Minting is the technical term for creating a new NFT. Once you’ve selected a platform and have cryptocurrency in your digital wallet, it’s time to turn that idea into a reality. Each site will have a slightly different minting process, but your chosen platform should have a step-by-step guide to assist you through. Once you’ve completed the steps and paid the minting fees, your digital file should have been transformed into a functional (and hopefully valuable) NFT.

Cashing In

The final step is deciding on how to monetize your NFT. Again, this will vary from platform to platform, but the most common options are to sell the NFT at a predetermined price or to auction the item off. Bear in mind, however, that there are expected costs in the minting and sales process. These costs will vary from one NFT to another, but remember to account for fees, trading costs, and the volatility in the price of the cryptocurrency you’re using. Accounting for these factors ahead of time can help you avoid taking a loss on your investment despite a successful sale.

Proceed with Caution

While NFTs have proven potential to be extremely valuable, don’t become totally blinded by the success stories. The space is becoming extremely competitive and only a small percentage of the NFTs created ever sell, let alone become profitable for their creators. This isn’t meant to discourage your efforts or prevent you from throwing your hat in the ring, just to remind you to proceed with caution when stepping into this new, and often confusing, terrain.