Medium Scammers are Everywhere

Why clicking someone’s referral link will NEVER make you a Medium Partner

Last year, I wrote an article on differences between the Medium membership and the Medium Partner Program:

I wrote it because people seemed….confused, to be charitable. They were saying if you joined Medium using their referral link, you would become a member of the Medium Partner Program.

At the time, I wanted to believe that it was an honest mistake. Let’s face it, plenty of people online are as thick as mince, maybe they really didn’t know the difference and weren’t being misleading on purpose.

Thing is, it’s months later and it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.

The above is just one example of something I’m seeing daily. It’s ALL wrong. Becoming a Medium Partner does not allow you to read unlimited stories. It allows you to read three stories a month, which you can do with a regular account.

That “no extra cost to you” is dodgy when what they’re actually asking you to do is shell out $5 a month to become a paid Medium member. And clicking that link is never going to make you a Medium Partner. Here’s why.

No one can refer you to the Partner Program

When you click that link, you’ll be taken to a page where you can sign up to become a paid member of Medium. This will indeed grant you access to unlimited stories for just $5 a month.

What it won’t do is confer membership of the Medium Partner Program on you. The Partner Program is the mechanism through which you can get paid for for your stories and it has three conditions:

  • You have to live in an eligible country (many places outside Europe and North America are ineligible)
  • You have to have written at least one story
  • You have to have at least 100 followers

What you don’t have to do, is pay any money. Membership of the Partner Program is free. Medium isn’t pay-to-play, thank Cod. That would make it a scam. Like when people say “Click my referral link to become a Medium Partner!”

If you want to join the Partner Program you have to fill out a seperate application. Just click on your profile picture, then on ‘Medium Partner Program’. It’s free.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t sign up for Medium Membership; unlimited stories are cool and it makes it much easier to interact with other writers. Just know what your $5 is paying for.

Why this irks me

People not being able to join the Partner Program because they live in an excluded country is a big problem. Anyone can write a story and anyone can gain 100 followers with minimal effort. But you’ll never be able to join the Partner Program if you live in India, or the Philippines, or any of the other 160 countries worldwide which don’t accept Stripe.

There are countless articles on here either searching for or touting solutions to this problem. I just hate to think of someone desperate to join the Partner Program and make some much-needed cash, seeing one of these bogus referral links and thinking “Great! If I sign up to Medium through this person I can finally monetise my writing!”

What you should say instead

If you’re not a scammer and want to promote your referral link, here’s what you say:

“Want to see more? Become a Medium member for just $5 a month and you’ll have access to unlimited stories. If you sign up using my link, I’ll earn a small commission. Click here!”

Or something similar. There’s loads of ways of saying it. Just remember, it’s “Medium member”, not “Medium Partner”!



NCTJ-qualified journalist and editor. Follow my true crime publication @Crime-Scenes.

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Victoria Suzanne

NCTJ-qualified journalist and editor. Follow my true crime publication @Crime-Scenes.