When you think about NFTs, written articles aren’t the first thing that come to mind. But Mirror is quickly changing that. In this guide, we’re going to dive into Mirror - a web3 toolkit for sharing stories, funding ideas, and turning text-based content into NFTs - and publish an entry on Mirror of our own!
Before we begin, let’s make sure you have your gear in order. To mint an entry on Mirror, all you’ll need is an Ethereum wallet, such as MetaMask or Rainbow.
While today’s most popular NFTs are image-based, pictures are just a fraction of what NFTs are capable of. At their core, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are simply proofs of ownership written on a blockchain. These proofs of ownership represent an asset, digital or physical, and link it to an individual's blockchain address. The result is a publicly verifiable file, showing a certain thing owned by a certain person.
So, can an article be an NFT? Absolutely!
At first glance, Mirror may just look like a web3 platform for publishing and monetizing articles — something like a blockchain-based Medium or Substack. But under the hood, Mirror is a powerful tool for creating content and building communities. It gives you everything you need for minting NFTs, crowdfunding, splitting proceeds from sales, and even minting ERC20 tokens to distribute to new community members.
Today, we’re going to write our first Mirror articles and publish them as NFTs. Let’s go!
First, head to mirror.xyz and connect your wallet with the button in the top-right corner.
If this is your first time using Mirror, go to the Settings tab in the left toolbar to set your profile picture, bio, color theme, and display name.
Once you're happy with your profile settings, go back to the Entries tab and click Create Your First Entry.
Now on the Write page, you’ll have access to Mirror’s text editor. This includes all of the writing platform essentials - headings, bulleted lists, images, and blockquotes. Go ahead and write your article! If you’re stumped and looking for inspiration, hop into the RabbitHole community Discord for ideas to get your started!
You will also have access to a number of web3 tools for monetizing your work and incorporating other NFTs. These include Crowdfund, Edition, Auction, Split, and NFT Preview. We won’t be using these for our first entry, but you can learn more about them here!
After you have written your article, click the gear in the top-right corner to bring up your article settings. Upload a header image (3000x1500 px) and enter a meta title and entry excerpt. Your header image will also represent your Writing NFT when it is minted.
Once you're done, check your meta preview at the bottom of the article settings. This will show you how your article will appear on Mirror, search engines, and social media platforms. This is also a good time to save your article as a draft if you haven’t done so already. Just click Save Draft at the top.
Now that you have a written article, a header image, and your meta settings all filled out, it’s time to give everything a good double-check. As with any NFT you mint, this article will forever be associated with your wallet! Even if you sell it, your wallet address will be shown as the original creator. So be sure to mint an original, quality article that you are happy to be associated with.
If everything looks good to go, it’s time to publish! Click Publish and toggle on the NFT checkbox.
To publish your article, you will be prompted to switch to Optimism, an Ethereum L2 network. This makes Writing NFTs free to create, cheap to collect, and gives your articles visibility across multiple Mirror pages like the Collection page and Leaderboard.
If you haven’t already added Optimism to your MetaMask, open your MetaMask and click on the network dropdown.
Click Add Network at the bottom of the list. You’ll be brought to this form:
Enter the following network details into their respective fields:
Click Save and you’ll be automatically connected to Optimism!
To avoid adding Optimism manually to your wallet, you can also search for the network through Chainlist.
Here comes the really important part: setting the price and supply of your Writing NFT.
Mirror recommends setting an accessible price (<0.01 ETH, currently <$20 USD) and a sizable supply (>100 units) so that many people will be able to collect your Writing NFT. You can read more here.
It’s important that you think this one through. After publishing your entry you’ll be able to edit its content but not the price and supply values that you’ve set.
Once you’ve given it some good thought, confirm the values and click Publish.
And that’s it! This transaction will take a few minutes to confirm, but once you’ve signed it, the NFT will exist on arweave until someone collects it. At that point, it becomes an ERC721 NFT on Optimism.
To view your Writing NFT, head over to an Optimism-based NFT marketplace like Quixotic. Again, keep in mind that the NFT will not show up in the marketplace or on anyone’s wallet until at least one of your Writing NFTs have been collected.