Is the Medium Partner Program unavailable in your country? Worry Not! Here’s how to join and start earning
Where I come from, somewhere in Africa, writing as a full-time form of employment is not really “a thing” unless you’re a journalist( or wannabe) of sorts hustling with a blog hoping to land some advertisers or some ‘Google money’.
What I am trying to really say is it’s a tight race trying to make a living as a full-time writer ‘these ends’ and you have to do thousands of things and write hundreds of blogs to earn a decent living and speak with authority about living life.
One evening in December as I reflected on how 2018 had been and as I made plans for the new year, out of curiosity, I tasked myself to try out the Medium Partner Program and see if I could also earn like other writers that bragged about it in stories I had read about making money on medium.
Surprisingly, I was bewildered when I learned that the service was not available in my country and was only in a handful of countries and that meant I stood no chance. However, I was not entirely surprised, I mean even Spotify is not available in my country but I have ‘hacked’ a way and I enjoy it regardless.
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The internet is home to enormous abilities and I set out to comb through it to find a way to join the Medium Partner Program by any means possible and it worked.
To be honest, it’s frustrating, annoying and it’s too much work trying to join the medium partner program if it’s not available in your country. I have been down that road and I wouldn’t wish for anyone to have to flex that much just to earn from their craft and passion.
I joined the Medium partner program in January 2019 a year after it was introduced. To be honest, when I started blogging on medium, I didn’t know people earned from their articles and I didn’t really give a hoot about it anyways.
Many people have reached out to me inquiring how they can join the partner program and start earning money and before I start explaining how they can, I imagine how cumbersome of a process it is and if they are willing to go down that road. Some have opted not to bother while some have gone ahead to give it a shot.
What’s the Medium Partner Program anyway?
In a nutshell, the Medium Partner Program allows writers to earn money for the content they publish on Medium based on engagement from Medium members. With the program, writers are allowed to put their stories behind a metered wall, and to know if a story is eligible to earn money, you will see a star near the date of publication.
Medium says that the enrollment in the Partner Program is only available in a few countries and you guessed right, there’s no Uganda on the list. (I am from Uganda, a lovely country in East Africa in case you were wondering).
To join the Medium Partner Program, all you need to do is to link your Medium account with your bank account or debit card via Stripe and that’s it.
All this seems easy and smooth until you try joining it. You’ll find the biggest hurdle to leap before going to the phase of actually earning that money which is the writing itself. ( Damn, writing isn’t easy, yikes!)
I used a back door method to Join the partner program and earn from it. The process is long and crazy but it’s manageable. It’s not like you have an option or maybe you can wait for some years to come until your country is added onto the list.
Yeah? No? Okay, let’s proceed.
Here are a few pointers that I wouldn’t recommend but are worth giving a shot. I mean why not? What do you have to lose?
Step One — Joining the Partner Program.
To get you started, visit Medium Creators and a form will be presented. You’ll be required to fill in your basic information such as names, email, number, etc. You can put your actual country whether it’s on the list or not.
The second step is uploading your Form W8-BEN. I got this on the Internal Revenue Service website and filling it in was quite easy. This document is important because it’s used by a foreign person to establish both foreign status and beneficial ownership and to claim income tax treaty benefits with respect to income other than compensation for personal services.
After submitting the above information, Medium will have to approve these details before they verify your account to activate your partner program dashboard.
Step Two. — Link your Stripe account
This is where many stop and decide not to pursue joining the program further. This is mainly because Stripe is only available in 31 countries and it’s the only platform via which medium pays writers their earnings. For your Partner Program to be activated, you’ll need to link your medium to a Stripe account.
If Stripe is not available in your country, you can use a backdoor method to join the payment platform. Since Stripe is available in the US, you can choose to register your account in the US and get a fake US address and additional details via Fake Address Generator and a temporary number via Receive SMS and for whatever code that is sent to that virtual phone number, you can get the SMS via the same site.
The personal details such as email, phone number, etc remain the same but the backdoor method is to just ensure you get the Stripe account as a US resident.
Because Stripe does not support debit cards and only transfer payments to bank accounts are allowed, you’ll need a routing number to full-fill this. To avoid the hustle with your bank, just open up a free account via Payoneer and request for the Global Payment Service. You’ll be given a virtual bank account with a routing number but I must warn the requests do take forever.
You can link your Payoneer account to your local bank. When you receive your funds via Stripe, they’ll be automatically sent to your Payoneer account which you can withdraw to your local bank account.
After you have created your Stripe account and added the routing number provided by Payoneer, your Medium Partner Program dashboard will be activated and you’ll be able to see your earnings.
I must warn that if you get this wrong and miss out on any information, Stripe may require that you authenticate your location and if you fail, your funds will be locked up by Stripe and they’ll accumulate on the dashboard but won’t automatically go to your Payoneer account.
The other simpler way to go around the Stripe hurdle is to simply incorporate a whole company via Stripe Atlas. Stripe has a one-time fee of $500 that covers all of the services when registering.
This helps you by removing lengthy paperwork, legal complexity, and numerous fees. The option helps you launch your own company from anywhere in the world.
But do you really need all that? It’s really up to you.
To avoid the hustle, you can ask someone in one of the countries where the Medium Partner Program and Stripe are available to sign up everything for you, and you simply write. I wish I had someone in any of those countries, I wouldn’t flex with the first option.
Disclaimer: Some of the solutions I offer may not( or never) work for you, some may backfire and in some scenarios, they may successfully work for you. All in all, I hold no responsibility whatsover for whatever outcome.