NFTs, Crypto, Wallets, Ethereum, Minting

NFT Basics: How to Mint Your First NFT from an NFT Drop’s Mint Page

Another “fundamentals” article that you’re free to share with newcomers to the web3 / NFT space.

Photo by Aman on Unsplash

Ready for another “basics” article for the NFT space? Great! Let’s walk through how to mint an NFT now that, if you’ve read my previous article on how to setup a MetaMask wallet, you’ve got your wallet setup and have some ETH in it.

Safety First!

Before we begin, let’s review perhaps the most critical aspect of minting NFTs — trusting the NFT drop. The crypto space is literally built around cryptocurrency, which means that there are tons of criminals worldwide solely focused on getting their malicious little paws on other people’s crypto via any fraudulent means possible.

And since NFT drops can amass literally millions of dollars in ETH in an extremely short period of time (sometimes literally just minutes), these criminals know the NFT space very well and will readily exploit it in numerous ways. A few of the top ways would be:

  • Rugs: This is when an NFT drop mints out a set of NFTs, usually promising all sorts of wonderful future development. But, after the mint, the devs disappear, running off with all of the crypto. If this happens to you, you’ve been rugged. (It’s not too uncommon, unfortunately. Happened to me once, as well.) (See my “Terminology of the NFT Space” article for more delightful terms like this.)
  • Scam / lookalike collections: This is when someone has tricked you into clicking on a link to some lookalike collection. You then mint thinking you’re getting an authentic NFT from the set, only you’re definitely not. This happens frequently when people get DMs in Discord, when people inadvertently follow fake Twitter accounts, and/or when people search out a drop on Google and the link that comes up is for a scam site.
  • Malicious Code: This is when an NFT drop gets you to interact in some way with a malicious smart contract. Such contracts could do all sorts of terrible things like steal your NFTs or drain your wallet of crypto.

For these and many other reasons, you really need to use caution in the NFT space. Always do a lot of research in order to gain an understanding of the drops you’re interested in minting. Is the team doxxed, and what are their reuptations and qualifications? Who are the devs and what is their reputation like? What’s the community like? Does everything seem on the up-and-up? If you or any friends of yours are devs, have you taken a look at their contract?

This is a giant topic worthy of an article itself, so I won’t cover all of that here. But hopefully you see where I’m going with this.

That all said, let’s assume you’ve found a solid NFT drop that you’d like to buy into. So, let’s talk about the steps involved.

Minting Options

Once more “wait a second” note before we begin: There are often two ways to mint:

  • Normal minting, whereby users use the drop’s minting application (aka mint page, mint site, minting dApp, etc.)
  • Direct-from-contract minting, whereby buyers connect their wallets to the contract, via Etherscan, and interact directly in order to mint NFTs.

For this article, as it’s a “basics” piece, we’re going to focus on the former — normal minting. The latter is often used by more experienced buyers and is also generally only useable during the public mint (as presale / whitelist or special claiming often requires that people use the normal minting application anyway). So, let’s get right to it, shall we?!

Go to the Minting Site

To begin, head to the minting web page. And again, I can’t stress this enough: Always always always be sure you’re going to the official minting site. Most of the time, you can feel sure about this if you’ve gotten the link directly from the NFT drop’s official channel somewhere — either via their official Twitter account, via a link from their official web site, or perhaps from an “#OfficialLinks” channel within their discord.

Anyway, for this example, I’ll use one of the mint apps I built for a client as an example. This one is called Astral Pioneers and features 10k alien NFTs drawn by the super-talented Mal Smith of Blue Pixie Comics. Their mint page is https://mint.astralpioneers.com/:

Connect Your Wallet

To get started, you need to connect your wallet. When you click a “connect wallet” button, you usually are presented with options. For example, here it asks what kind of wallet software you’re using.

Here we’re going to use MetaMask. But this site also offers other options (WalletConnect, which allows connections to various types of wallets, and also a Coinbase option). But, again, let’s go with MetaMask. When you click there, you get a popup from your wallet.

If you have closed your browser since last working with your wallet, and/or have shut down your computer, you may well see a login screen first, like so:

Others won’t see this screen, as they’re logged in already. But if this is the case, enter your wallet password. (Note that this is NOT your seed phrase as discussed in my previous article on setting up wallets. Instead, this is simply the password to allow you to use your wallet in the browser.)

And then you’ll see what others already logged in will see, which is a prompt for you to decide which account you’d like to connect with:

I’ve selected the top one and then clicked Next. And that gives you a confirm screen telling that you’re about to connect the selected account to the application, and it lists what the application can do from there.

Once we click Connect, we’re connected and can start the mint process.

In this example app, I’ve simply included a little slider so that people can select how many NFTs they’d like to purchase. (In this specific case, the drop owner only allows one or two. Quite often you’ll see larger ranges and/or +/- signs to allow you to select many more by clicking instead of sliding. Either way, you’re simply indicating a quantity.) So, let’s just mint ONE:

… and then let’s simply click the MINT button:

Next your wallet should pop open and you’ll get a confirm screen like so:

Probably not an issue for anyone here, but see that “Ethereum Mainnet” at the top-right? Make sure that’s what’s showing for you as well. MetaMask works with various testnets and other chains, so you want to make sure you’re working with ETH. But, ETH is also the default, so this should not affect many people reading this.

So, we see the 0.0888 ETH price, as we expected. And then below we see the Gas fee and then the total. Let me scroll down a bit to show that more clearly:

And so we can see that the total price is estimated at 0.08996935 ETH (which could vary a bit because the gas fee is an estimate).

I’m going to reject this transaction here (as I already own a bunch of these), but a normal buyer would hit Confirm here.

And then you’d wait. Usually, this takes maybe 10–20 seconds, but can last longer for various reasons (network traffic, gas spikes, etc). And then sooner or later, you’ll see a notification on your screen that the mint has completed.

Once the mint is complete, you can generally then go to OpenSea and view your NFT. On OpenSea, there are two main ways to view your NFT:

Either way, congrats — you’ve purchased an NFT!

Other Notes

  • Be careful not to jump the gun on that final confirm screen (the one that shows the price plus gas fees). Sometimes if gas is super high, it could show a huge amount that you may not be happy with. This could be because of a gas war going on, or possibly some other reason like you’re experiencing some strange error. Bottom line: Read that final estimate amount and be okay with it before actually confirming. If gas is too high and you aren’t worried about a set selling out right away, consider clicking Reject and then trying again later. Often this can save you some ETH.
  • The purchase process is similar on most sites, with possible slight variations here and there. But in general you connect, select a quantity, click a mint button, and confirm on your wallet. Buying existing NFTs on OpenSea (the largest NFT marketplace) is a similar experience of connecting, selecting, clicking “buy”, and going through various confirmations.
  • If you’re minting from a new generative NFT drop, please note that you will usually not see your final NFT immediately upon purchase. That’s because generative collections usually use a “prereveal” image at first. If this is a new concept to you, then read my article about how generative NFT reveals work.
💡Oh hey! Let’s connect on 🐦Twitter, ok?! I’m @SwiggaJuice there, also findable as JimDee.eth. I’m a fully-doxxed web3 dev at 😼GenerativeNFTs.io — here’s my LinkedIn. 🙏
Get into Generative NFTs! And, when you want to drop your own set, give us a shout!

✍🏻 Jim Dee founded GenerativeNFTs.io to offer generative NFT programming, smart contract development, and mint-on-demand applications to NFT teams worldwide. Sometimes called “the Michael Jordan of generative art coding,” Jim has coded ~200,000 NFTs with more than $40 million in total sales (so far). His Medium blog, read by ~1 million web3 insiders since 2021, is considered by many the definitive source of generative art coding and NFT drop team project management information. Reach out: Jim [at] GenerativeNFTs.io. 🔫🔫

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