How writers and journalists can make money with NFTs on Mirror.xyz
Web3 - and NFTs in particular - have been the promise creators across the globe have been waiting for.
An easy way to monetise your work without having to rely on the middle man.
But the vast majority of focus and profits have been collected by designers.
If you’re like me - a creator who deals with the written word over visual designs - is there any way for you to monetise through NFTs?
Fortunately, there is.
It's not as well publicised as the NFT collections you’ll find on OpenSea, nor is it as profitable as collexctions like CryptPunks.
However, there is a very easy way for writers to mint their work as an NFT and collect cryptocurrency payments from collectors and fans.
I’m going to explain the process of turning your thoughts and recorded words into a collectable NFT that lives on the blockchain and can be bought by your audience.
How to mint an article as an NFT on Mirror.xyz
At the time of writing, there’s really only one platform that allows writers to easily mint their work as an NFT.
The platform is Mirror.xyz.
Mirror was purpose-built to allow writers of all sorts to monetise their work directly through minting it as an NFT.
We’ll cover Mirror itself in more detail later in this piece. For now, let’s focus on the process to turn your written works into collectable NFTs on Mirror.xyz.
Step 0 - Have your written work ready
For the sake of brevity in this, I’m going to assume that you have something you want to publish ready to go.
Mirror.xyz is not a tool for editing, but for publication.
You can edit in the dashboard, but it’s easier if you create in something like Google Docs and then move it over to Mirror.xyz.
You’re also going to need some ETH in your wallet to pay the minting gas fees. I can’t tell you how much as it fluctuates all the time.
For example, I was quoted ~$140 when I first looked into publishing the piece I used to explain this process, when I was ready to mint a few days later it was ~$70.
Either way, you’ll need ETH in your wallet to mint. The easiest way is to get everything ready then fund your wallet with the right amount of ETH.
Once you have a piece that’s ready to publish as an NFT and the ETH for gas fees, here’s what to do.
Step 1 - Sign up at Mirror.xyz
Step 1 is to head to the Mirror.xyz site.
When you land on the site, you’ll see the below.
To log in, you’ll need to connect your crypto wallet.
If you don’t have a crypto wallet set up for this, make sure to follow this guide to setting up a MetaMask wallet. MetaMask works seamlessly with Mirror.xyz.
Click the button in the top right and, when prompted in MetaMask, sign the contract that allows the two services to communicate with one another.
Once done, you’ll have a Mirror account that’s linked directly to your ETH wallet. And to log in in the future, you simply need to log back into your MetaMask browser extension.
Once they are linked, you’ll see the below dashboard.
It’s now time to add your piece as an NFT.
Step 2 - Add your written work to Mirror.xyz
To mint an article as an NFT you’re going to add it as an entry.
For now, ignore all of the other left nav bar elements and click on “Entries”.
On the page it opens, click on the large blue button “Create Entry”
This will open a text editor page for you to add your article.
You have two options here.
- Import your article by URL
- Add your article manually in the text editor
Let’s quickly run through them.
Step 2A - Importing your article from another site
If you’ve already published the article on your own site and own the full rights to it, you might consider minting it as an NFT.
This is really only worthwhile if the article is popular and people would want to buy it - either to own a copy or support you as a creator.
To import an article, here’s what you do.
Click on the import entry button. This will bring up a small popup box asking for a URL.
Add the URL of the article you want to import, and then click the “Import Entry” button. m
Mirror will take a few seconds to populate the piece, but after it’s done its work, you’ll have the full article imported into Mirror.
But what if you want to mint something completely original?
Step 2B - Manually import your writing into Mirror.xyz
If you have a completely original piece that’s not yet been published anywhere else, it’s a simple case of copy and pasting your work over into the Mirror.xyz text editor.
The text editor itself is quite advanced and so it should all paste over relatively seamlessly.
Step 3 - Edit for formatting
With your raw article imported or pasted in, read it from top to bottom to ensure there are no formatting errors.
There are often one or two errors when importing or pasting into new text editors.
For example, when importing this article on the best hardware wallets, Mirror didn’t pick up that the “Ledger Nano X Features” should be a H2 heading.
I’ve found that the most common import and copy/paste formatting errors include:
- Bullet points
So be sure to go through and make sure everything looks as it’s supposed to.
You’ll also want to hit the gear icon and add your featured image to the piece.
Step 4 - Add your crypto wallet details
The piece is now ready for publication.
And you can just hit publish and have this live as a free piece on Mirror.xyz under the domain linked to your wallet.
However, if you want to mint it as an NFT, here’s what you want to do.
You’ll first want to highlight the “NFT” box in the top right.
With that done, you’ll now have the option to Publish (or if you’ve set it to only live as a draft - to save the piece).
When you click on publish (or save) you’ll see this screen.
In the box, you’ll need to add your wallet’s public address so any funds generated find their way to your MetaMask account.
To get that address, open your MetaMask Browser and look for this area at the top.
Copy that string of numbers and paste into the box on Mirror.
Then click the “These values are correct” box under it. This will enable you to publish the piece.
Step 5 - Minting your new NFT
When you click the “Publish and Mint entry” Mirror.xyz will open your MetaMask wallet to confirm the order.
You’ll see something like the below.
This is a rundown of the gas fee it will take to Mint this as an NFT.
If you don’t have enough ETH in your wallet, you won’t be able to mint which is why I recommended getting ETH in your wallet at the start of this piece.
If you’re short, you can either go and buy more ETH, or wait for time when Gas fees are lower.
If you do have enough ETH, you’ll be able to mint your piece as an NFT.
Click the confirm button and wait for a few seconds.
In a minute or two, you should see the header section of your article change.
At first, you’ll see this below your featured image while everything is being finalised.
After a few minutes, when everything is finalised, the greyed out areas will change and the “Collect NFT” option will be open for people to click on.
And just like that, you’ve minted an article as an NFT (here’s how it looks when done).
So what’s next?
Step 6 - Market your new NFT
Publishing an article as an NFT is not a guaranteed method for success.
You’re still going to have to apply a rigorous content promotion model to this.
You’re still going to need to connect with relevant communities and generate interest through social media.
Minting as an NFT is step 1 to making money.
The hard work comes after through the promotion, audience building, and establishment of trust - as is true for any business endeavour.
You now have everything you need to turn your written works into profitable NFTs.
But if you want a little more information on the platform that makes al of this possible, read on.
What is Mirror.xyz?
Mirror.xyz started life as a platform that allowed writers to mint their work as NFTs.
To our knowledge, it’s still the only platform that focuses on written word NFTs rather than the far more popular visual NFT’s you might be sue to seeing on sites like OpenSea.
What makes Mirror stand out is that it’s not an NFT marketplace.
Sure, you're able to collect NFTs from individual creators, but it’s not the same as the marketplaces as your relationship is directly with the author of the piece.
It’s also an NFT minting platform, allowing anyone with an account to quickly and easily turn their work into a tradeable NFT.
Here’s the thing.
Whilst Mirror started out focused on helping authors, journalists, and other written word creators monetise their work, they’ve grown into so much more.
Today, Mirror offers a suite of other tools for creators to monetise their online presence and collaborate with others.
What else can you do on Mirror.xyz?
Since its inception, Mirror has grown to help plenty of other Web3 entrepreneurs collaborate and monetise their work.
If you take a look at the main Navbar, you’ll see that you can do quite a lot with Mirror.
Here’s a brief overview of everything else that can be done on Mirror.
Entries on Mirror.xyz
This is what this guide focuses on.
Mirror’s entries allow anyone to publish written work as a completely free piece of content, or to mint it as an NFT.
Crowdfunds on Mirror.xyz
Mirror allows anyone to run a crowdfund campaign.
These campaigns are exactly what you’d expect them to be and have the same functionality as something like GoFundMe.
However, it’s linked to the Ethereum blockchain. Backers contribute ETH which also allows them to earn a stake in the success fo the project.
Splits on Mirror.xyz
Splits are a great feature for people who want to collaborate on a project and split the profit.
With Mirror’s splits you could have multiple authors contribute to a piece, and Mirror’s system will split any of the sale profits between each author.
Editions on Mirror.xyz
Editions allow creators to create a limited run of the NFTs they create.
For example, you could create an article, mint it as an NFT, and create an edition of 100 for people to buy.
Auctions on Mirror.xyz
Auctions are exactly what they sound like.
Mirror auctions work on a reserve auction model. This means you can set a reserve price to ensure your auction runs at the profit level you want.
Token races on Mirror.xyz
Token races is one of the more complex features on Mirror.
All it really is is a voting system - ideal for community-driven projects.
Your audience collects your token. The more of your token they own, the more their voting power.
You can then put a vote to the audience and people vote for their preferred action.
Obviously, people with more tokens will be able to have an outsized influence on the race.
Those are the main features. But let’s get back to minting an article as an NFT and look at what you should and shouldn’t do.
What articles can be published as NFTs
Technically you can publish anything you want as an NFT on Mirror.xyz.
However, at the very least you’re paying for the gas fees to mint your piece as an NFT.
Then you have to consider the time you spent writing the piece, optimising it for the platform, and then of course promoting it to your audience.
You don’t want to put that much time and money into the project only to find that it never gains a single collector.
Let’s look at a few potential good ideas for articles.
The most profitable articles to publish
Here’s the thing with Mirror and people paying for articles…
There are no hard and fast rules.
If you look at how writers have monetised in Web2, there are plenty of potentials.
Think of all the…
- Paid Substacks and newsletters
- Patreons and other patron style agreements
People will pay for good content.
Most often though, they’ll pay for some form of back end extra - something the regular public won’t be able to see without buying in.
Community is everything in Web3.
You could easily just sell the pieces as NFTs if they’re good enough (more on that below). However, building a sense of community and even having some form of reward for your community will help you sell your NFTs.
The best NFT collections are all built around community.
Let’s look at some good examples of NFTs on Mirror.xyz.
Mint your first written NFT today
Whether it's an article or you want to create a limited run of a new novel, you now have the process needed to turn any written piece of content into an easily monetisable NFT.
Once you've given this a run, be sure to show Mirror.xyz some love and leave them a review on their review page right here.
In the meantime, best of luck and happy minting!
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