A Beginner's Guide to Solana NFTs
Starting out in this space can be overwhelming. Let us help you with that
So you want to get started with Solana NFTs. Great choice! We think you're going to love it here, but there is definitely a bit of a learning curve to conquer first. While there is plenty of information scattered around out there that can help you get started, we wanted to put together this easy-to-use guide to help you kickstart your journey. This guide may not be all-encompassing and may change along the way, but we will do our best to always keep it updated with the most relevant information.
Setting Up A Wallet
The first thing you're going to need is a Solana wallet. While there are several options available, we recommend using Phantom wallet. It's the most popular one and is very user-friendly. To download, simply head on over to https://phantom.app/. From there, you'll click the "DOWNLOAD" button in the top right. Select the browser (or mobile app - this guide will cover desktop) of your choice and install the extension.
Now it will ask you to create a password. This password is used to unlock your wallet within your browser. This is a local password only. Make sure you write this down somewhere secure and preferably offline. While this password can technically be recovered, the next step is even more important and cannot be recovered if lost.
Next, you'll receive your 'Secret Recovery Phrase', also known as your Seed Phrase. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION. In case you ever forget your password or lose access to your computer that has your wallet, this phrase is the ONLY way to recover your wallet. If you lose this, your wallet is as good as gone. Make sure you store this in several secure places. The phrase itself will consist of 12 randomly selected words in a randomized order. NEVER give this phrase out to anyone who asks.
After that, follow the prompts and you're all done! You can now open the extension to view your wallet. Your new wallet will appear as the one below does. To get your wallet address, click on the dropdown arrow next to "Wallet 1" and click "Copy". You can then paste your wallet address for reference. I created a new wallet for this example, and my address is JDSAkq4SQGQ4zgUv4SJwBMAsRNrjk7UXnHKV12enpS8d. Yours will be a similar-length combination of numbers and letters. This is the address you will use if you ever need to receive something, or submit your wallet somewhere. This is publicly accessible information so it's okay if others have this, although they will be able to see your wallet balance and any NFTs you own. You can now transfer SOL to this wallet to begin your NFT adventure!
To transfer SOL, you'll need to use a CEX (Centralized Exchange) to purchase using your native currency first. Depending on where you live, different CEX's will be better for you. Check out FTX, Binance or Coinbase as starting options. Essentially, once you buy SOL on there, it will be in a wallet on your account. From there, you can send the SOL to the wallet address we created above.
Looking For NFTs
Now that you've got some sweet juicy SOL in your wallet ready to go, what are we going to buy?! Before we dive deeper into that, there are a few things you should know before you decide to purchase anything. You'll see the following abbreviations pretty frequently in the space:
NFA - Not Financial Advice DYOR - Do Your Own Research
These are the most important rules to live by. You're going to come across a TON of people that recommend NFTs that you should look at. Most of the time, their main motive isn't to help you out first. Before you buy anything, always be sure to do your own thorough research to feel comfortable with your decision. At the end of the day, you're the one who clicks the final approval button and whatever happens from there is on your shoulders.
We'll talk about best practices for researching a little later on in this article, but for now let's just talk about where to see NFTs that are listed for sale. These are marketplaces, and there are several things you should know about them.
Magic Eden: The market-leading marketplace Hyperspace: Up and coming marketplace aggregator. They show listings from all marketplaces, including their own. My current go-to Solanart: Used to be the premier marketplace but fell off. Recently came back as a zero-fee marketplace. (More on fees down below) CoralCube: Another marketplace aggregator Yawww: Another marketplace offering zero fees
To keep things simple in the beginning, we recommend using Hyperspace. It's fast, and it will show you the best price across all the marketplaces. You can buy directly from there regardless of what marketplace the NFT is actually listed on. Note, you can only list an NFT on one marketplace at a time.
If/when you find a collection and a specific NFT that you wish to purchase, simply hover over it and click the "Buy Now" button. It will ask you to connect your wallet if you haven't already. Once you do, an approval prompt will pop up from your wallet, similar to the one below.
ALWAYS look at the "Estimated Changes" section before approving a transaction. If you're buying from a marketplace then you're safe, but it's still a good practice to always check this info first. Here you can see that I'm sending 1.01203 SOL in exchange for a Soosh NFT. If this is accurate, you can click on approve to process the transaction. If it goes through, which it will unless that NFT has already sold, then you can view your purchased NFTs in the Gallery tab of your wallet.
There are two fees to know about when purchasing/selling NFTs from a marketplace. The first is the Artist Royalties %. Every project/collection has a royalties % tied to their NFTs. These royalties are one of the main ways projects continue to earn money for their project after the initial mint. This % is chosen by the project themselves, and usually ranges from 5 - 10% although 10% is very high. While these fees do support the project and we strongly encourage paying them, marketplaces like Solanart and Yawww do allow you to choose not to pay those and just set the royalties % to 0. Ultimately, this is your choice.
The second fee is the marketplace fee. This is usually 2%, but can be lower depending on the marketplace.
Now, as a buyer, these fees don't really matter. The price you see an NFT listed for is the price you pay. Fees come into play when you're the one selling. For example, let's say you list an NFT for sale for 10 SOL on Magic Eden, which has a 2% marketplace fee. The NFT you listed has an 8% royalty. If someone buys your NFT for 10 SOL, you will receive 9 SOL to your wallet after fees. If you chose to sell that same NFT on Yawww for example and set the artist royalties to 0%, then you would receive 9.8 SOL in your wallet instead. You wouldn't be supporting the project though.
Finding and Researching NFT Projects
As we mentioned previously, researching before buying is crucial. But how do you know where to start researching? There are a couple of ways.
If you're just starting out, my first recommendation would be to look at the daily mint poll that we do here on our site. You can see it on the left-hand side of the homepage, with additional info located on the Polls page. You can see which projects minting that day have the most votes, and then you can use the links to their social media accounts to find all the relevant information for that project. I usually start with their Twitter and from there go to their Discord or website. When you're just starting out, I suggest researching the top-voted mint for the day, and then watching to see how it performs during its mint (aka its sale). Additionally, watch to see what the price is on secondary (marketplaces) compared to the mint price. I would do this for about a week straight before you even consider purchasing anything. Just get a feel for how things perform in relation to the buzz around them, what their project is about, what the price/supply is, etc.
Once you get the hang of that, you can start to try and find projects that are a little further out from their mint date and research them ahead of time. Twitter is a great place to find projects. The Radar Discord server is also a great place to hear about upcoming projects. We have a channel for our top upcoming projects, and we're always discussing different things in the general chat as well.
When researching, read everything you can about the project. You can start with the project roadmap, which is basically a summary of what the project hopes to accomplish. Once you read enough of them, you'll be able to tell quite a bit just from reading these without having to necessarily read all other available material. Other things that you should read include a project's whitepaper if they have one, as well as any information listed on their website. If you see something that you want to ask a question about, feel free to jump into the project's Discord server and ask in their general chat! Someone from the team or another discord member will usually try to help you out.
While we really have only covered the tip of the iceberg, I don't want to overwhelm you with any more information at the moment. Everything mentioned above will lay the groundwork for all things Solana NFTs.
The best way to learn more beyond what we discussed above is to go through any of our other educational articles, as well as hop into our Discord server and ask any questions you have! Our community is full of amazing people that are more than happy to help you out. Additionally, feel free to DM me directly! I'm always happy to help newcomers to the space with any questions, especially since a lot of people helped me when I was getting started. My Discord ID is HoTsAuCe#7292. Feel free to message me!
I hope this article was helpful in getting you started in SOL NFTs. Like I said at the start, this will likely change and expand as things continue to develop. If there's any feedback, definitely let me know so I can implement it accordingly. Thank you for taking the time to read this and welcome aboard!