The creator economy is booming.
It’s the best time in history to be a creator and make a living online. I watch the online writing space like a hawk, so you don’t have to.
Yesterday my writing dreams came true. Let me explain.
A brief history of Web3 writing
A year ago I wrote about a new platform called Mirror.xyz
They showed a lot of promise as a place for us to write. Their platform is built on top of blockchain technology aka Web3. I was excited by what they offered.
Since then Mirror hasn’t really gained much traction. One of the issues with Web3 is that you log in to the apps with your crypto wallet, not an email address like Web2.
This sounds smart. It’s not.
Crypto wallets are hard to use. They can easily get hacked.
When your login and ID is tied to your wallet full of your life savings it’s a formula for catastrophe. So most web users don’t use Web3 — yet. As such, new social media platforms like Mirror and Bitclout/DESO haven’t found traction.
They’re solutions desperately looking for users.
The new (honest) way to make money as a writer
Despite the lack of traction for Web3 writing, the innovation coming out of the space is bloody exciting.
Most of you have heard of NFTs by now.
Immature novices who refuse to listen to tech trends call NFTs “silly little JPGs.” But NFTs are more than that.
An NFT is a smart contract. NFTs solve the copyright issues that have existed on the internet forever. Who owns what can now easily be traced with NFTs.
NFTs aren’t just contracts either. They allow for automation. They cut out middlemen. They allow for instant payments in real-time. They enable new revenue share models.
A while back I shouted “someone should make our damn writing into NFTs.” I did this on purpose.
Mirror.xyz heard the Batman call.
Now Mirror.xyz offers “Writing NFTs.” Their inspiration was the Ethereum (crypto) white paper.
Their argument was, what if you could own the white paper of a famous technology like Bitcoin? What if you could help fund an idea by supporting the words that explain the idea?
A great example of a Writing NFT that’ll inspire the pants off you
When we read online we often stumble across words that move our hearts and minds.
In Web2 the best we can do is tip them a few dollars, buy them a lame virtual coffee, donate to them on Ko-Fi or Patreon as if they’re homeless, or subscribe to their $6 a month newsletter.
These options suck — for creators and readers.
My philosophy with writing online has always been to charge less than 5% of the audience for a product or service.
With Writing NFTs you can sell your writing exclusively to your super fans. These whales spend decent cash to own a piece of your work, and even a chunk of the upside from your career.
The small few fund the larger audience who get your work for free.
Because of the sale of the NFT, as the creator, you get access to the buyers’ contact information through the smart contract. So you get paid and own your audience. Genius. No more stupid follower models.
Writers make cashola. Your fans get access to stuff they value.
Maybe this model sounds crazy. Think about it though. Right now regular people go wild to collect sports memorabilia or props from movies or collectibles from their favorite musicians.
Now the collectible model can be digitized with NFTs.
And if you think the audience doesn’t like tipping creators then you’ve clearly never seen the $100m+ in tips each year that happen on Twitch or the Vocal Media audience that happily tip writers via Stripe.
Let’s not forget OnlyFans either.
They pioneered this whole model and do over $3 billion a year — although it’s mostly our neighbors stripping down to their g-bangers for some fun and a few bucks. (Why not … Not sure anyone would pay to see my hairy monkey ass though.)
One of the coolest Web3 newsletters, Milk Road, is a great example of this writing NFT model. They’re curious like I am.
So they asked the question: “Will people collect blog posts?”
To find out they minted one of their written newsletter editions as an NFT. Time will tell if they make money from them. If so, they may not need to rely on subscriptions or ads to keep their thriving newsletter alive.
Don’t get too excited (yet)
Let me be real with you.
It’s still too early. Mirror.xyz shows a lot of promise, but right now their main use case is to help blockchain Web3 projects crowdfund through writing.
You’re not going to find self-help, politics, relationships, travel or any other standard topics on their site.
Right now Mirror.xyz is for crowdfunding ideas. But one day Writing NFTs will be for everybody. Us normies too!
So keep a close eye on what’s happening. Mirror.xyz is the Minimum Viable Product for the future of online writing. What starts as small can quickly become something so much bigger.
Facebook started as a platform for Harvard Graduates to chat. Then it became the biggest social media company on the planet.
I hope all you writers are paying careful attention.
This is where fortunes will get made from online writing in the future.
All you need is an open mind and to avoid the skepticism virus that ruins beautiful dreams.