The world of NFT art is exploding! For the last couple of years, NFTs have been picking up traction and gaining a lot of attention. This has left artists scrambling to understand NFTs and get their work available for sale in this new space.
It seems like every day brings a new NFT platform into the market, each one having unique approaches, communities, styles of art, aesthetics, and vibe. Getting started can be confusing. First, there is the aspect of the NFT itself to understand, then there’s the wide range of platforms and of course the scammers, bots, and spam.
Platforms are essentially the places where an artist can mint NFTs without creating their own custom smart contracts. A platform is more or less a website, really it’s a web application. When artists create their own custom smart contracts a custom website to enable minting is also needed.
One of the important initial decisions is regarding which blockchain an artist would like to utilize for their NFTs. This decision will generally dictate the token used to mint, or create, NFTs and also the cryptocurrency the artist will be paid with. Each website associates with a specific blockchain, for example, SolSea uses the Solana blockchain and OpenSea Ethereum.
Factors such as GAS fees should be taken into consideration, preferably prior to beginning the process of minting art. GAS fees will vary from one blockchain to another. On Ethereum, there is also the option to work with Polygon. Some platforms work with more than one token. Polygon is cheaper to mint with than Ethereum, so it might be a good option for people without a large initial upfront investment.
Some platforms use auction-style sales while others use listings. Then others offer both options. Some platforms accept credit cards and PayPal for payment from buyers and others only allow purchase with cryptocurrencies.
The Ethereum Main Network, or ETH, MainNet is one of the most popular blockchains the NFT platforms work with. Transactions, or GAS fees, on the ETH MainNet, can be quite expensive. There are benefits and drawbacks to creating art using the platforms on the ETH MainNet.
Outside of the ETH MainNet space, there are other very exciting platforms emerging on other blockchains and creating some experiences that have not yet been seen. HEN and BeyondNFT are two of these platforms, SolSea is another.
By the end of this article, you should have a high-level overview of some of the largest and most popular NFT platforms. Use the information here as the jumping point to investigate and explore each platform on your own in more detail.
Where To Sell Your NFT Art
When people think of NFTs with, or without knowing it, they could be thinking about OpenSea. It’s one of the largest and most popular NFT platforms around. The number of buyers, sellers, NFTs, and volume is staggering. Take a quick look on DApp Radar at the statistics if you’re interested in the numbers. The simple fact is OpenSea is, in a way, the top dog in the NFT space. Many of the most popular NFT creators and NFT projects are using OpenSea.
Being at the top of the food chain for OpenSea presents opportunities and problems for the NFT artist looking to break into the NFT scene. On one hand, there are many buyers already on the platform looking for NFTs. There is a social graph, like on Facebook that your work can be presented to. Another great reason to use OpenSea is it’s fairly easy to begin creating (or minting) NFTs on the platform.
OpenSea provides the option to mint NFTs using the Polygon token so creators can avoid all of the costly GAS fees. OpenSea also offers minting with Ethereum, where GAS fees can be more expensive. If you’re unfamiliar with GAS fees, they’re essentially transaction fees that you’re charged for making transactions on the blockchain network. Such as creating or buying an NFT.
Downsides to Opensea include: a limited ability to control royalty splits, secondary royalty payout amounts are capped and your art is placed along a literal sea of competition. There is no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs.
Transactions are handled using ETH and OpenSea charges a 2.5% service fee. Creators earn a royalty on secondary sales.
Rarible is a newer platform breaking into the NFT space. Rarible only displays its own NFTs in the marketplace where you’ll find auction-style sales and regular listings.
Rarible offers live training for creators which is something most other platforms don’t currently have in place. Getting started with NFTs can be confusing, so this is a nice touch.
Rarible is a bit of a unique platform because of the RARI token. RARI is a token created by Rarible associated with transactions that take place on the platform. Rarible is a community-governed platform based on the RARI token. This means individuals that have accumulated RARI tokens get a vote in the direction of the platform.
Rarible doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app at the time of this writing. The web-based version of the platform is still quite easy to use for beginners.
Downsides to Rarible include: a limited ability to control royalty splits, secondary royalty payout amounts are capped and your art is placed along a literal sea of competition. There is no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs.
Transactions are handled using ETH and Rarible charges a 2.5% service fee. Creators earn a royalty on secondary sales.
SuperRare is somewhat of an established NFT platform that got started in 2018. The platform has a bit of an emphasis on exclusive art. SuperRare works with the Ethereum Blockchain and token. Payment methods for buyers consist of credit, debit, and even PayPal.
The fees charged by Rarible are a bit high at fifteen percent. This speaks to the vibe of SuperRare. The fees and focus on exclusivity make it have a more high-end gallery type of feel. SuperRare has referred to itself as “Instagram meets Christie’s.”
SuperRare is one of the curated and closed NFT platforms. It can be tough to get accepted as an artist on the platform. The nice part about the vetting and review process is the art on SuperRare is quality work. On the other side of the spectrum is something like OpenSea. OpenSea is a literal sea of all sorts of art at varying degrees of quality. As an artist, it’s usually a good idea to consider what your work will be presented with.
Downsides to SuperRare include: a limited ability to control royalty splits, secondary royalty payout amounts are capped and your art is displayed with many any artist’s work. There is no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs. SuperRare is a closed platform so you have to be approved to mint NFTs on the platform.
Transactions are handled using ETH and SuperRare charges a 15% service fee. Creators earn a 10% royalty on secondary sales.
Foundation is a newer curated NFT platform that started in 2020. It’s built on the Ethereum Blockchain so buyers use ETH to purchase NFTs. Foundation is a closed platform with an invite-only acceptance process. To begin minting NFTs an artist must get an invite from an existing Foundation creator who’s sold at least one NFT.
Foundation is another one of the platforms that could be considered more high-end. This is due to the curated environment and invite-only process. If an artist gets accepted their work will be displayed next to other artists, many with an established presence. This can be beneficial for lesser-known artists, but it’s almost impossible to get in.
Foundation felt like an exclusive way-too-cool-kid club to me. Out of all the NFT platforms I’ve researched it left the worst taste in my mouth. Foundation is a closed platform so you have to be approved to mint NFTs on the platform. This isn’t unique but the overall vibe of invites and essentially begging other artists to be accepted is a huge turn-off. Cool is cool until it isn’t cool. Cool? There is also no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs.
NFT sales are conducted auction-style on Foundation. Payment methods available on Foundation include credit, debit, and PayPal. Transactions are handled using ETH and Foundation charges a 15% service fee. Creators earn a royalty on secondary sales.
A lot of the hype in the news and what we’ve all heard about NFTs stem from the Ethereum Blockchain. There is a lot going on outside of that ecosystem. One of the more exciting things going on outside the Ethereum Mainnet Hype Bubble is the WAX Blockchain and its associated ecosystem.
The WAX ecosystem provides a means to create and sell NFTs through the AtomicHub marketplace. AtomicHub is another slightly newer platform that was created in 2020. It’s a robust and powerful NFT platform with huge names involved like Topps trading cards.
The WAX Blockchain doesn’t have the same transaction issues that the ETH Mainnet can with outlandish GAS fees. This is because the WAX token is the primary token used for minting, buying, and selling. Creators receive WAX tokens as payment for their NFTs on AtomicHub.
NFTs created on AtomicHub are managed through collections. Artists are asked to provide proof of their work through the submission of some type of source files for the finished work. The NFT space is ripe with fraud so this is a nice addition to the NFT creation process.
Downsides to AtomicHub include: The minting process is a bit complicated. I tried to figure it out a couple of times and still wasn’t ever able to mint any NFTs. There is a strange review process of the NFT content and a requirement of providing source files to prove the work really belongs to the artist. AtomicHub is a closed platform so you have to be approved to mint NFTs on the platform. WAX is a lesser-known token and blockchain than Ethereum.
Transactions are handled using WAX and AtomicHub charges a 2% commission fee. Creators earn a royalty on secondary sales.
If you’re looking for an option outside of the ETH Mainnet world SolSea, on the Solana (SOL) Blockchain is a great choice. SolSea is the first NFT marketplace on Solana with integrated minting. SolSea also has an interactive 3D viewer for NFTs uploaded in 3D formats.
Artists will need an SOL-compatible wallet and fund it to use SolSea. Wallets currently supported by the platform include Phantom, Sollet, and Solflare. Auction-style sales aren’t available at the time of writing.
One option offered exclusively by SolSea is the ability to embed licenses into NFTs. The deeper implications of custom license embedding are beyond the scope of this article, but this is pretty huge. This is the only NFT platform with this functionality at the time of this writing. This is a big deal for SolSea.
Plus, SolSea has an associated token AART that creators are able to stake through the platform. Staking the AART token provides the creator with a discount on the sales fee for their NFTs.
Downsides to SolSea include: File size limitations kept me off the platform. 40MB is the max size for an NFT at the time of writing. This is fine for JPGs but any kind of audio or motion graphics will create file size issues when minting. There is no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs.
Transactions are handled using SOL and SolSea charges a 3% sales fee and a $0.00025 minting fee. Artists can specify custom creator’s fees or royalties.
First and foremost Crypto.com has a mobile application that is a cryptocurrency exchange. There is also a web-based platform where you can create, buy and sell NFTs. For absolute clarity, this article is discussing the NFT platform. It’s relatively new, starting in Dec of 2021.
Some major creators including Snoop Dogg and Boy George have released NFT drops on the Crypto.com platform. Directly from the platform website, “A highly-curated platform for creating, collecting and trading unique NFTs.”
There is an application process in order to mint NFTs on the platform. After the application process artists are informed via email. If accepted they can begin minting NFTs immediately. If an artist doesn’t meet the criteria they are simply not responded to. I personally heard back pretty quickly, less than two weeks. A verified account on the Crypto.com exchange or phone number is required to create NFTs.
There isn’t a minting fee on Crypto.com and sales are handled through credit cards. Buyers can simply pay with a credit or debit card, their account balance, or Crypto.com Pay – via the Crypto.com mobile app.
Downsides to Crypto.com include: There is no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs. Crypto.com is a closed platform so you have to be approved to mint NFTs on the platform. The general public still has some confusion between the crypto.com exchange and mobile app vs. the NFT platform and marketplace. This can make it a little more challenging to market NFTs as there is an extra layer of education.
Crypto.com charges a 15% listing fee for sold NFTs. Creators earn a fixed 10% royalty on secondary sales.
8. Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway describes itself as the “premier marketplace for Nifties.” Nifty Gateway is owned by the crypto exchange Gemini. Nifty Gateway is a curated NFT platform. Therefore creators must go through an application and interview process in order to mint and sell their work.
The platform uses the Ethereum blockchain and token so GAS fees can be problematic. One cool thing Nifty Gateway has done is create an app for Android that will allow you to view your NFTs on the platform.
There was a breach resulting in some Nifty Gateway users losing their NFTs. This was found to be due to the affected users not using F2A for security. Nifty Gateway has urged users to use F2A following this incident.
There is a particular aesthetic on Nifty Gateway because of its curated nature. This provides a high-quality collection of exclusive art for collectors. There are some huge names involved with the platform. So, if accepted, your work will be presented alongside some other extremely talented, and well-known, artists.
Downsides to Nifty Gateway include no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs, and it’s a closed platform so you have to be approved to mint NFTs. As mentioned there have been security issues connected to Nifty Gateway.
Nifty Gateway charges a 5% fee on sold NFTs and an additional thirty cents for transaction fees. Creators earn a 10% royalty on secondary sales.
Mintable is an established NFT platform that got its start in 2018. It’s one of the more well-known NFT platforms and has a good-sized user base. Mintable was the first NFT platform to offer the option to mint without a GAS fee. Mintable allows artists to maintain ownership of the Smart Contracts for their NFTs, unlike many of the other NFT platforms.
Mintable allows creators to sell NFTs in fixed, auction, and auction with buy now formats. Mintable works with the Ethereum Blockchain but claims to be carbon neutral because it purchases carbon credits to offset gas consumption.
Mintable is a DAO and runs on NFTs as its token for governance and relies on MINT voting. Holders of NFTs have a say in the future and direction of the platform. One of the visions of the platform is to bring NFTs to the masses.
Downsides to Mintable include: a limited ability to control royalty splits, secondary royalty payout amounts are capped and your art is placed along a lot of competition. There is no ability at this time to create interactive NFTs.
Mintable charges a listing fee of 10% for printable NFTs, 5% for gasless NFTs, and 2.5% for regular NFTs (GAS paid at the time of minting). Creators earn an adjustable royalty amount on secondary sales.
Hic et Nunc, or HEN, is an extremely exciting NFT platform. HEN works with the Tezos Blockchain and token. NFTs that use Tezos are referred to as “Clean NFTs” because transactions on the Tezos Blockchain use two million times less energy than ones on the Ethereum Main Network. There are a lot of collectors seeking to purchase NFTs on the HEN platform. There is actually a bit of a Clean NFT Movement associated with Tezos and NFTs on the HEN platform.
Another really cool aspect of NFTs on HEN is the ability to create interactive NFTs. These are essentially little executable web applications. There are some limitations with what they can do and access, that said, there is a huge opening of opportunity to create new and never-seen-before NFTs.
In stark contrast to OpenSea and other more centralized company-oriented approaches, HEN is run by volunteers. HEN is an open-source project available on GitHub.
A few downsides to HEN are: interactive NFTs require educating buyers, HEN uses Tezos token and blockchain and it’s not as well known as ETH, and the platform is hard to understand and use. Minting NFTs is quite a bit of a different experience on HEN than OpenSea, this is for more advanced creators (but extremely cool!).
HEN charges a 2.5% listing fee to sell NFTs. Creators earn a variable royalty of up to 25% on secondary sales.
BeyondNFT is an NFT platform that provides functionality to create interactive NFTs. The platform works with the Ethereum Blockchain, so sort of an OpenSea meets HEN.
BeyondNFT also works with the Polygon Network, again like OpenSea. The huge difference is BeyondNFT is working with interactive NFTs and OpenSea doesn’t. There are other differences but this is a simple way to think about it for beginners.
One downside to BeyondNFT is the website and all documentation was down the whole time I wrote this article. In addition, there is very little information found elsewhere to help with even company information. This could be an issue for creators using the platform to mint NFTs.
Minting and listing fees were unavailable while this article was being written. Check the website for more information. BeyondNFT is very cool and new, so some web outages aren’t completely out of the norm.
Basic Strategy For Selling NFTs (aka Marketing NFTs 101)
Once an artist has minted and listed their NFTs on a platform or marketplace it’s crucial to also do some marketing. Making money with NFTs is not as easy as drawing a picture and letting it sell itself! On the larger NFT platforms, it’s especially important to let people know that your art is now available for the world to purchase as NFT.
Update NFT Platforms Profile Page
Most of the NFT platforms provide a profile page that will display the NFTs an artist has minted and listed for sale. Most platforms also allow an artist to customize this profile page. It’s a really good idea to update the profile with the artist’s unique branding.
Each NFT will usually have a direct link that can be used to share the art with others. Driving people to this link is very important in achieving sales. This isn’t a one-time thing either, this link needs to be shared in multiple ways across multiple social media platforms. Consistent, constant, and effective marketing is paramount to an artist’s success with NFTs. NFTs don’t simply sell themselves, at least not for unknown artists, not usually.
Build a Community & Use Proper NFT Tactics
Building a strong community around your brand and NFT project are both common practices for NFT creators. Discord is a very popular tool used to curate and foster a community around an artist’s NFTs. Some NFT projects release their whitelist, roadmap, and whitepaper in their Discord communities.
NFTs have many unique aspects to them, such as being released as “drops” and being sold in collections. Writing a whitepaper around the vision for an NFT artist’s body of work and purpose is standard practice. Creating a roadmap is another common practice for the NFT space.
Whitelisting is something that’s found in the NFT space as well. This is the practice of allowing certain people access to the ability to buy an artist’s NFTs before or during a drop. Whitelisting is a process ensuring an artist’s existing NFT fan base has a definite opportunity to buy their latest work.
An artist should plan to research the NFT technology, then the platforms. After that make a choice to focus on one or more platforms. As the artwork is created an artist should establish a presence on Twitter in the NFT space. Find other NFT artists and follow them, share their work, etc. Begin building the Discord community at this time as well.
Plan a drop for the artist’s first NFT and then create a marketing campaign around the drop. For best results begin marketing before the NFT is available for purchase. Once the NFT has been minted and is available to purchase, continue with the marketing campaign.
Even after the initial marketing campaign has ended, keep promoting the artist’s brand and NFTs. The more marketing and promotion an NFT has the more likely it is to actually sell. Unless you’re an established artist with a fan base this is more or less an undeniable truth. An artist’s career is seventy percent marketing and thirty percent art. Moving to the NFT world doesn’t change that.