Checklist for a successful NFT drop

There's a lot more going on behind the scenes in an NFT project than you might think. Using our checklist you'll make your project a success!

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Smart contract

The smart contract is what powers your whole NFT project. It is the piece of code that lives on the blockchain and is responsible for actually creating the non-fungible tokens and distributing them to people that are buying (also known as 'minting') them.

Here's the bare minimum of what you need to think about regarding your smart contract:

Which blockchain do you want launch your project on?

There are multiple great choices, but the most popular ones are currently Ethereum, Solana and Polygon. We won't go into them too deeply in this post, but they each have their benefits and caveats.

Ethereum is great because it is the most recognized and compatible with Opensea, the most popular NFT marketplace. However, Ethereum's weakness are its relatively high gas fees, when users are minting your NFTs. With our gas optimized contracts the fees aren't too bad, but on average you can expect your customers to pay at least $20 on top of the minting price.

Polygon also works with Opensea and offers lower transaction costs, but it's not as widely used.

Solana is also an excellent choice, but not as widely used as Ethereum or compatible with Opensea. For Solana NFTs the most popular marketplaces are Solanart and Solsea.

What should the total supply and price of your NFTs be?

How many NFTs in total do you want to sell? For a while the standard for every project seemed to follow CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yach Club with their supply of 10,000 tokens, but since then more and more projects have chosen to only create 888, 3333, 6666 or any other amount of NFTs.

The price of your NFTs is also a huge factor, because too high of a price might scare off some buyers while you also don't want to give them up for too little. Finding the right balance between price and supply is a critical thing in terms of your project's longer term success.

How many NFTs should a customer be able to buy per transaction?

The amount of NFTs someone is able to mint per one transaction is often limited in order to make the sale more fair to everyone participating. By setting such a limit you can prevent someone from minting an absurd amount of the total supply to their own wallet. Even though it might seem like having someone mint half the supply is exactly what you'd want, if you're not only in it for the money having the supply distributed more evenly among your community is better in the long run instead of it being centralized to one massive wallet.

Should there be a whitelist that allows certain wallets to mint the NFTs before others and should the price for them be different?

Most project feature a whitelist of specific wallets (often active community members) that are rewarded with the possibility of minting before the sale goes fully public. A whitelist contains a list of wallet addresses that the smart contract checks the minter's wallet when someone is trying to mint during a whitelist only (often 'pre-sale') period. If the user's wallet is not on the whitelist, the smart contract will reject the transaction and they will not receive an NFT.

We've got a more comprehensive post coming about smart contracts in an NFT project, but we hope that this gave you some idea of what to think when planning an NFT drop! If you would like to discuss this further or want help in your NFT project, get in touch with us!

Website

Your NFT project should have a website. It could be used for marketing purposes, but its most important job is to allow people to mint your NFTs by connecting their wallet and sending a transaction to the blockchain.

Your website needs:

  • A domain. This is where users will navigate to find your project (e.g. www.my-awesome-nft.com).
  • A place to host your website. We host all our websites on Vercel.com.
  • Text, images, gifs, videos... Anything that makes it unique and gives visitors valuable information about your project!
  • A way for the users to connect their Web3 wallets and interact with the blockchain.

We can help you with all of the above, so just hit us up if you have any questions!

The art

Most of the current NFT projects revolve around images and more specifically images that are randomized by combining different layers (or 'traits'). Drawing up a set of layers is already a big job because there are often well over 100 different layers for one NFT project. However, what makes it even more difficult is the fact that all of those layers have to match when combined together in a completely random order.

On top of the images your NFTs will need some metadata. Metadata is a JSON file that contains information about each specific NFT (name, id, attributes (or 'traits'), image link...). These metadata files have to be generated at the same time as the images, because it is impossible to do after the images are already done. Unless of course you want to manually go through thousands of images and write up the files yourself detailing what layers each image has... No? Yeah, me neither.

For hosting your NFT files we suggest using IPFS due to its decentralized infrastructure. Before your NFTs are revealed to your customers, they need to be uploaded somewhere so Opensea and other apps can query the images and display them. Pinata is a great tool for hosting your NFTs on the IPFS network.

Marketing

Your NFT project could have the most amazing art and utility, but what good are those if people don't know about it? We suggest that you form a solid marketing plan that allows for enough time between publishing the project and opening minting, so you can build an active community around your NFTs.

Checklist

Smart contract:

  • Select blockchain
  • Decide NFT price and supply
  • Decide if you want a whitelist and collect wallet addresses

Website:

  • Buy a domain for the website
  • Set up website hosting
  • Create content for your website
  • Integrate a Web3 wallet connector to the website

Art:

  • Create layers
  • Generate randomized images and metadata
  • Check that metadata matches the image
  • Upload images and metadata so they can be revealed

Conclusion

Now you're ready (or at least better prepared) to launch your NFT project! If you'd like some expert help to ease the process, get in touch.