A Complete Newbie Sets Up An NFT Drop
Back from taking her first digital footsteps into the metaverse, Jazz strides headfirst into her first NFT drop on the WAX blockchain – but all doesn’t go as planned…
What I’ve found in my NFT journey so far is that it’s both a newbie-friendly wonderland and a treacherous minefield – depending on how well you do your research.
This is especially true on the creators’ side which, to my constant surprise, is where I now find myself.
If you caught the retelling of my first NFT minting experience, you’ll know that the minefield is where I’d taken myself – due almost entirely to my misplaced sense of confidence and unwillingness to read through the reference material.
Rather than making use of the forgiving nature of the testnet, I’d ignored it entirely and went right ahead with etching my mistakes forever onto the blockchain.
When it came to setting up my first NFT drop, I’d love to tell you I learned from my mistakes and that, as a result, all went smoothly.
That, however, would be a lie.
Instead, allow me to regale you, once again, with the latest instalment in a series that should be entitled Jazz’s Faults and Follies on the WAX Blockchain.
As a collector, I’d seen drops from the other side – tailor-made releases dedicated to selling a limited number of NFTs at a certain time, usually to a pre-determined list of buyers. I’d been working on the art behind my upcoming collection for some time, and was brimming with nervous excitement at the thought of holding my first NFT drop.
In time, I’d finished my NFT designs and was raring to go. Excitedly, and naively, I announced my drop date for two weeks in the future. All that was left to do was to learn how to set up a drop, which in hindsight was the wrong order in which to do things!
Nevertheless, once my date was announced, I went about the daunting task of learning the ins-and-outs of holding an NFT drop.
All the drop pages I’d seen until that point had been on NeftyBlocks. It’s primarily a platform for this exact purpose, but being a new kid on the block, my collection didn’t fulfil the requirements for their verification. Without this verification, I couldn’t use their platform.
Once again, I went back to my first love, AtomicHub. Whilst there’s a whitelisting process there too, it’s not a restrictive one, and anyone can mint, list, and drop NFTs through their platform.
I’ve heard some OG creators talk about “back in the day” when they had to program drops through bloks.io, but in a space that’s only a few years old, “back in the day” was only about 9 months ago. Nevertheless, since NeftyBlocks didn’t want me, I had no choice but to engage in a good old history lesson.
Rather than setting up my drop on AtomicHub, I had to go through a smart contract system on bloks. “Alright, I’m sure I can do it right the first time on the mainnet”, I thought.
This was my first mistake. As I found out much later – too late in fact – bloks has a testnet too.
Not knowing this at the time, I went ahead and logged onto the bloks mainnet, with a blissful ignorance afforded only to someone as new to this as I am.
The process of setting up a drop on bloks is a well-documented process – as long as you read the instructions. If I hadn’t had this brilliant guide by EOS Amsterdam, I would’ve been way out of my depth.
I followed their instructions, typing in my WAX wallet. Next, it asked for the Template ID of the NFT I wanted to drop. I realised I hadn’t yet minted the NFT, so back I went to AtomicHub to mint 100 of my ‘Introducing Jinx’ NFTs, ready for the drop.
This was my second mistake.
I naively proceeded with the rest of the process, setting the price, how many NFTs I wanted to drop, and how many each buyer could purchase.
I was so proud of myself for making it through the process without, to my knowledge, any issues. I now had my very own drop page with a countdown timer, and I proceeded to share the link to it far and wide.
On the evening of my drop, I pinged everyone in my Discord server to remind them of the release, and waited eagerly for the first sales to come in.
I waited some more, then refreshed my browser – still no sales. I knew that several people were eager to buy, so why wasn’t anything happening?
My question was answered by a private Discord message; “Something is wrong with your drop”.
My heart fell into my stomach as I realised I must have made some sort of rookie mistake – and I was enough of a rookie to have absolutely no idea what that mistake was.
I tried to purchase one of my own NFTs through the drop, only to get what was, to me, an indecipherable error message.
Once again, the WAX community stepped up. The wonderful Floyd Jenkins – who has saved my skin on more than one occasion – told me the problem.
By minting 100 of that NFT before setting up the drop, and setting the mint limit to 100, I’d ensured there would be no NFTs available for purchase, and no possibility of minting any more.
As it turns out, setting up this kind of drop meant the NFTs were minted on-demand, so by minting them in advance I’d completely shot myself in the foot. This was news to me.
I realised that my only real option was to list the NFTs on the secondary market and eschew the idea of a drop altogether. I was disheartened, but I wasn’t yet crushed. That would come later.
Sending profuse apologies to the people eagerly awaiting the drop in my server, I scrambled to quickly list all 100 NFTs to the secondary market.
This was my third mistake.
In the moment, I was in full damage-control made and in a state of panic. The WAX blockchain saw these 100 listings and decided I was a bot, locking me out for attempting too many actions at once and enforcing a 1 hour cooldown period. It was at this point that I was crushed.
After all that hype and expectation, I was now completely powerless to release my NFTs anywhere near on time.
On the verge of tears, I broke the news to my server, terrified they were going to lay into me and expose me as the fraud I felt like in that moment. Instead, I was showered with words of encouragement, consolations, and even a couple of stories of other creators’ early blunders.
I will say this again and again – the WAX community has some of the most supportive people I’ve ever met, either online or offline.
I feel so lucky to have stumbled into such an amazing space and to be part of a group of people intent on lifting each other up. It was those same people who, an hour later, jumped at the chance to buy my now batch-listed NFTs.
The moment my cooldown period was over, I started sending my NFTs to the secondary market in batches of 10. Even as I went through and painstakingly listed each one of those NFTs manually, I saw my community members comparing which mint numbers they’d purchased, just like I’d seen in the servers of other, more well-put-together projects.
I felt that, despite all my mistakes, my work was still celebrated, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more than that.
Whilst the feeling of foolishness lingered, it was slowly replaced by a creeping warmth and gratitude. Against all odds, I’d launched my first real NFT and people were buying it! It was an amazing feeling!
Now, in the retelling of my blunders, I find some consolation in the thought that I’m making these mistakes so you don’t have to. Take heed dear reader – and for the love of god, use the testnet.