How Much Does It Cost to Make an NFT?

24 Min Read

You’re here because you’re wondering how much does it really cost to make an NFT collection?

The short answer is: it costs almost nothing, as long as you use the right tools!

This article will show you how to make an entire NFT collection while paying as little as possible. 

What is an NFT collection?

An NFT collection is a series of NFTs all within the same smart contract. 

The Bored Apes Yacht Club collection is a great example:

Example NFT collection on OpenSea: BAYC

Their NFT collection consists of 10,000 unique apes. 

The CryptoPunks collection is another one:

Example NFT collection on OpenSea: BAYC

Their NFT collection has 9,998 unique punks. In both of these examples, you can see that each of the NFTs pictured is a part of one collection. A “collection” can vary quite a bit though: they can have 10 tokens or 10,000 tokens, or . They can be a collection if unique 1/1 art or all the exact same design. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the cost of creating an NFT collection with 1,000+ tokens, each with a unique design. 

Launching an NFT collection used to be quite expensive

If you learned about the existence of NFTs during the bull market craze, you were probably inspired by all of the projects that were popping up out of nowhere, making millions of dollars seemingly overnight. You may have even looked into how much it would cost to launch a project like that.

Back then, the cost of making an NFT collection was very, very high. If you needed to hire developers to build your smart contract, it would easily cost tens of thousands of dollars on top of a % of your revenue. Even launching the smart contract itself could be hundreds of dollars during Ethereum’s peak gas prices.

For a while, launching an NFT collection simply wasn’t a possibility for most creatives or creators. But today, that has completely changed thanks to so many no-code tools that have emerged since the original NFT boom. Today, anybody can launch an NFT collection, with very little cost. 

In fact, you can launch an NFT collection for as little as $60 dollars! All you need to do is use the right tools, and do a little work yourself.

Cheapest optionCost
How much does it cost to hire an artist?MidJourneyFree trial
How much does it cost to generate an NFT collection?Launchpad100% free
How much does it cost to maintain a web3 Discord community?Discord100% free
How much does it cost to do marketing for my NFT collection?Learn how to write Twitter content yourself, manage your own partnerships and collabs.100% free
How much does it cost to develop a smart contract?Launchpad100% free

+$60 gas fees paid to the blockchain (not paid to Launchpad)
How much does it cost to get a website up and running?TypedreamFree plan
How much does it cost to turn a website into a mint website?Launchpad100% free
Total: $60 in blockchain fees

Let’s break down each of the core components of launching a project, and see what your options are. Feel free to skip ahead if you know exactly what you’re looking for! 

How much does it cost to create NFT artwork?

How much does it cost to hire an artist?

Free options: AI art generators can help you design exactly what you’re imagining, even if your artistic capability is limited. Take KaySurreal for example, they are an AI artist and their most recent collection completely sold out. A quick Twitter search for “AI artist” reveals many more successful creators that leverage AI to visualize their concepts!

AI art generators like MidJourney and StableDiffusion have extensive free trial periods that let you test out their service. If you need more iterations than the free trial provides, the monthly subscriptions range from an affordable $15-$30. Something like this can work if you want to create a collection of unique 1/1 NFTs, or an ERC1155 token.

If you want to see how robust these art generators are, check out Midjourney’s recent user showcase page:

In addition to AI generators, you can explore actually creating NFT art yourself! There are so many incredibly successful creators in a huge range of different art styles present in the NFT space. We’ve seen comedic pixel art like CryptoDickDickButts, with nearly 12,000 in Ethereum volume (about $14.5 million in today’s prices), all the way to Azuki’s beautiful anime designs, with 270k in Ethereum volume (about $330 million in today’s prices).

There are so many wonderful art tutorials and free tools out there to learn from. You can become a creative even if you’ve never been one before. If you dive deep into the Twitter web3 rabbit hole, you’ll be surprised to find that many creators are completely self-taught.

Low cost option: You can find and hire incredible freelance artists from around the world. Some countries have a significantly lower cost of living compared to where you live. This allows you to hire somebody for a price that’s inexpensive to you but wonderful for them. Dribbble and Instagram are awesome places to find talent.

The prices vary based on location and experience, but Dribbble allows you to sort freelance designers by cost. Try it out, you’ll be blown away by how many there are to pick from! For example, Catalyst lists their services at $1 per hour, BERG is $25 per hour, Breno is $50 per hour, Alexander is $75 per hour. (None of these are artist referral links or sponsored, we just genuinely like their work!)

Expensive option: If you have the funds to spare and want to hire a very specific artist (for example, the illustrator behind a well loved comic book), they may be willing to collaborate with you if your project idea is aligned with their interests. Established artists tend to require more money. Typically, you’ll see artists who are looking to be paid up front in addition to a percentage of your mint sales. This can range anywhere from ~5k-30k up front and 5%-15% of mint revenue or more, depending on the artist.

What are NFT artist royalties and do I need to pay them?

Royalties allow creators to continue to make money when their NFT is sold after the initial mint. Imagine this: you launch a collection and Sally purchases your NFT on mint day. She lists it on OpenSea. A month later, David purchases that same NFT from Sally on OpenSea. 

David’s purchase is called a “secondary sale”, which a royalty fee can be added on top of. That fee is typically between 2.5% to 10% of the NFT’s purchase price. That additional fee will go to you, and you should decide how you want to split this with your artist. The perspective here is: if the creators (project founders and artist) succeed in creating something that sells, they deserve to reap the rewards as well. 

It’s common for the artist to receive 1%-10% of royalties depending on a variety of factors, like:

  • How successful is the artist? Notable artists, and artists with a lot of experience under their belt, can charge more for their work. Not only do they have talent though prior experience, they may contribute to your project’s audience by exposing their fans to your project. 
  • How much did the artwork contribute to the success of the project? There are times when the artist and the art they create is truly integral to a project, and times when the art is more like an added bonus. If the artist creates a core component of the project’s value, a higher percentage or royalties is deserved. 
  • How involved was the artist in the project overall? Was the artist somebody you talked to for a few hours, and that’s it? Or, were they working alongside your team for weeks? Will they help with project marketing? Will they interact with the community? The more involved they are, the more they deserve a high percentage.  

There isn’t a perfect industry standard rate that applies to every artist and project, but you can use the questions above to help guide your decision!

How much does it cost to generate art for an NFT collection?

 For each of the platforms below, we’ll imagine you want to create a collection with 10,000 NFTs.

  • 100% free: With Launchpad, you can generate aft for your NFT collection and deploy custom smart contracts for free.  It’s an incredibly comprehensive no-code NFT toolbox for creators: the Launchpad NFT art generator allows you to generate and preview unlimited collections, specify layer rarity, create complex layer rules, input 1/1s into the collection for ultimate rarity – just to name a few features. To see everything this NFT art generator is capable of, check out here.
  • $529: NFT Art Generator allows you to generate and preview unlimited NFTs, set rarity, and create trait rules. If you go on to use their smart contract features with the NFTs you generate, you will pay 5% of your mint sales.
  • 1 Ethereum ($1.5k as of December 2022): Bueno is an easy to use NFT generator, though it can be pretty pricey. Once you generate your NFT collection, you need to pay before you can export your collection and metadata. The rate is .001 ETH per NFT generated. For a collection of 10,000 NFTs, the cost is 1 full Ethereum. At today’s price, that’s about $1.5k. 

How much does it cost to maintain a Discord community? 

Truthfully, you don’t need to pay anything to maintain your Discord community. Discord is an amazing free tool on its own. 

While Discord bots aren’t necessary at all, there are a few that are popular in the web3 space: 

  • – 100% free: This Discord bot manages token-gated channels and roles. For example, you may want discord channels to only be accessible by users who own your NFT. If they sell their NFT, you want that access to be automatically revoked. 
  • YAGPDB – 100% free: This is an awesome general purpose Discord bot. There are tons of features, but just to name a few: you can allow users to self-assign roles, moderate content, create custom commands, and give warnings. 
  • Wick – great free plan: This Discord bot focuses on keeping your community secure. It is built to prevent spam, raids, advertisements, and malicious links. In the event that one of your staff accounts get compromised and exhibit strange behavior (for example: suddenly deleting channels) Wick will step in and quarantine the user. 
  • Mee6 – great free plan: If you’ve joined a web3 community on Discord, you’ve probably been greeted with a welcome message from Mee6! This discord bot is wonderful for onboarding new users: welcoming them, informing them of server rules, and community events. You’re also able to create custom commands, like giving users roles for specific behavior. 

How much does it cost to do marketing for my NFT collection?

It’s 100% free if you do it yourself! 

You can network with, give value to, and eventually collaborate with other projects at no cost. This space is incredibly special: creators and builders recognize how difficult it is to launch something, and people are often thrilled to meet others with shared interests and goals. Our #1 piece of advice is when it comes to getting collabs and partnerships is to give value to others:  people can sense if you just want to gain something from the interaction and it doesn’t feel good. 

You can write your own Twitter threads. Study others in the space that have successful Twitter content, and try to implement the strategies you learn. Canva is an incredible free tool for social media assets – it’s so easy to use, you don’t need to be a designer to make great graphics!

How much does it cost to work with an NFT advisor? 

~1%-10% of mint revenue if you work with an advisor. Advisors are a wonderful way to leverage somebody’s prior experience and valuable connections. They may promote your project on their own platform, give you advice as you plan and execute your project, or introduce you to the right people to fill gaps in your own abilities. Advisors can be a great asset, but are not cheap.

A big name may charge as much as 3% just for being able to put their face on your website. Advisors are certainly not necessary, but can be helpful if you find one that genuinely aligns with the mission of your project, and can provide meaningful support to you.

How much does it cost to make an NFT smart contract?

This is what you can expect when it comes to developer fees

  • 100% free: Launchpad is a no-code toolbox that  allows you to generate your own custom smart contract for free. The smart contract generator is incredibly robust: you can do basic things like host a pre-sale and public sale, set max mints per wallet, split primary sales to multiple wallets, or set royalty percentage just to name a few. You can also add blue chip features like: blocking marketplaces that don’t honor royalties, soulbinding, lending, burning to mint, or a free claim. You can read the most recent feature announcement to see just how robust the tool is! The entire tool is completely free.
  • 0%-5% of mint + Creator Pass cost of 0.04 Eth – 0.099 Eth: NiftyKit is a no-code smart contract generator that lets you launch your NFT project without needing to hire developers. NiftyKit smart contracts allow users to implement basic features like: pre-sale, public sale, revenue split, reveal – to name a few.
  • 3-5% of mint: NFT generator is a no-code smart contract generator with basic features as well: pre-sale, public sale, embeddable mint button, reveal – to name a few. The percentage they take is on a sliding scale – they take 5% up to 100k in mint revenue, 4% up to $300k in mint revenue, and 3% over $300k in revenue.
  • 2k-10k up front + ~10% of mint + 3 ETH audit: Hiring your own developers. We believe that there are so many great no-code tools out there, you really don’t need to hire a team of developers to write your smart contract from scratch (especially with Launchpad’s ability to add blue chip features for free). However, if you are certain this is a necessity (maybe you want to add a smart contract feature that none of the no-code platforms support), you can expect to pay 2k-10k upfront in addition to ~10% of mint if you need to hire your own team.

How much does it cost to have my NFT smart contract audited?

If you choose to have a developer studio create your smart contract, you’ll need to have that contract audited to ensure there are no security vulnerabilities. Auditors can be quite example. For instance, when researching for our own smart contract auditor, the lowest cost we could find was 3 ETH for an individual auditor, and much more for large scale audit firms.

How much does it cost to deploy my NFT smart contract?

Whenever you deploy a smart contract, you will have to pay a network fee. This is a fee that’s paid to the blockchain, regardless of which tool you use. Depending on which tool you use, the deployment fee will vary, depending on how efficiently that smart contract is written. With Launchpad, for example, a smart contract costs about $60 to deploy (paid to the blockchain, not to Launchpad). This will fluctuate depending on gas price as well, but that will be the same no matter what platform you use. 

How much does it cost to create an NFT mint website? 

Let’s break this down into two parts. First, the cost to actually get a website up and running, then the cost to turn that website into a minting page that allows users to purchase your NFTs.

Step 1: How much does it cost to get a website up and running? 

  • Free plan: Typedream is a super easy to use, minimal, no-code website builder. The design is quite simplified, and can work well for somebody who wants to make something without committing to any monthly fee. 
  • $16-$23 per month: Squarespace is an awesome no-code website builder with great customer support (I’m a real customer!). The prices vary slightly depending on which features you need, in addition to a discount if you purchase the annual subscription. All plans come with a free custom domain! What sets Squarespace apart from other website builders are the templates: in our opinion, they are better designed than their competitors.    
  • $16-$22 per month: Wix is another easy to use no-code website builder. Every plan comes with a custom domain, as well as 24/7 customer support. They have over 800 templates across a wide range of themes. 
  • 5k-30k: If you want to build an incredibly unique, custom website that simply cannot be accomplished with a no-code builder, you may find yourself wanting to hire designers and developers to build your dream website. However, while this option gives you much more freedom, it also costs much more. 

Step 2: How much does it cost to turn a website into a mint website?

  • 100% free: Launchpad provides two different ways to create a mint website. First, there is a free customizable mint button embed that includes the functionality necessary for your audience to mint your NFTs.  Once you create your smart contract with Launchpad, you can customize your mint button to fit in with your collection’s branding. A html code snippet is generated, which you can paste right into your Squarespace (or similar) website!  That button allows your collectors to connect their wallet and mint NFTs seamlessly!

    Second, Launchpad gives you the ability to create an actual mint website with the click of a button. (add more when i see the design)

  • Up to 5% of mint: Unfortunately, while other services like NiftyKit, or NFT Generator do have mint pages or mint button embeds, you can only use these features if you pay for their other services. 

Conclusion: So, how much does it cost to create an NFT collection? 

Launching your own NFTs doesn’t have to be an expensive project! In fact, if you add up all of the cheapest solutions, you’ll be spending less than $60 to launch your collection! 

Further Reading

An image of a quill and paper

How to Start an NFT Collection
NFT Collab: How to Partner with Big Projects
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Collectibles
How to Create an ERC-721A NFT Collection With Launchpad
How to Create an ERC-1155 NFT Collection With Launchpad

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