Before you apply to join the Medium Partner Program, it’s critical to read, understand and meet the terms laid out in the Partner Program Requirements. Otherwise, when you try to apply, you’ll most likely be met with a disappointing rejection email. This has happened to more than a few people.

If you don’t meet the requirements of the Medium Partner Program, it’s best to not apply until you do.

Writing on Medium is definitely worth the effort and time, so take the time to read through the rules and then apply to the Medium Partner Program if you want to.

What are the requirements for the Medium Partner Program?

Medium specifies that anyone who wants to join the Partner Program must:

  1. Have at least 100 followers. This shows Medium that your content is worth following and worth reading. It takes time to reach this mark, but if you’re dedicated, you can get there before too long. It took me just under two weeks to get there. Note: Medium has removed the 100 follower requirement as of August 1st, 2023. Read more here: Medium Partner Program August 2023 Changes
  2. Be at least 18 years old and reside in a supported country / geographic region. Medium works with a third party payment processor, but it’s only available in certain countries. If you don’t live in one of the supported countries, you can still write on Medium, but you won’t be able to join the Medium Partner Program.
  3. Have at least one published story in the past six months. Medium doesn’t want people who haven’t published for years to join the program. First they need to demonstrate that they’re able to write good quality content and have something posted within the past six months.
  4. Publish at least one story each six months to stay active. Lastly, you can’t just join the program and walk away from Medium and expect to keep earning. Medium wants its writers to remain active on the site, and while you don’t have to post regularly or go really in depth, you should have something posted at least every six months.

These requirements, which may frustrate some, exist for good reason. And it’s important to know and understand them before you bother applying for the Medium Partner Program.

What if I apply without meeting the requirements?

Amazingly, some people still seem to think that the requirements don’t matter or that they might be able to slip through the cracks. Some have even taken to Medium, writing that they were rejected from the Medium Partner Program because they reside in an unsupported country. (Something they would have learned had they read the requirements for the Medium Partner Program before applying.)

If you apply without meeting one or more of the requirements for the Medium Partner Program, you’ll receive an email stating that you’ve been rejected. The bad news is that means that you’re not yet a member of the program. The good news is that you can reapply in 30 days if you are able to meet the requirements of the program.

A rejection email does not necessarily mean that you can never be a part of the partner program. But it might mean that you didn’t read the program rules as closely as you should have and that in so doing, you’ve wasted your time.

The good news is that, unless the reason for the rejection is the fact that you live in a country that isn’t supported, it’s easy to fix any shortcomings and apply again. But before you do, read and re-read the rules and be certain that you actually do meet them.

Why do these requirements exist?

The Medium Partner Program requirements have caused no shortage of frustration for prospective members, leaving some to wonder why they exist at all – or at least why they are so strict. The frustration is somewhat understandable – especially for those who live outside a supported geographic region.

While no one outside of Medium can say for sure why these rules exist, my guess is this:

Medium is a paid membership site, much like a magazine. It charges members a membership fee for the privilege of reading an unlimited number of stories behind the paywall each month. In order to keep its paying subscribers happy, Medium rightfully wants to make sure that content that gets put behind the paywall – and thus requires a paying membership fee for unlimited reads – is high quality. One way to do that is to ensure that those who submit content for this purpose already have some level of trust. In this case, that trust is demonstrated in the form of followers. Medium has determined that, at 100 followers, a person is likely reasonably trustworthy.

Medium further wants to make sure that its partners stay active on the site, creating new content at least once every six months. If you think about it, in the grand scheme of things, once every six months isn’t much at all – especially considering a post made to stay active doesn’t have to be really long and drawn out. But even that should seek to provide value. Don’t write selfish content.

How long does it take to get enough followers?

One of the most daunting partner program requirements is the requirement that all applicants have at least 100 followers. If you’re just starting out, that can be a bit off-putting and it’s lead more than one person to wonder if writing on Medium is worth it. The good news is it doesn’t take long to reach 100 followers as long as you’re actually writing the kind of content that your target audience will want to read.

That means spending time and effort to research your topic and carefully craft well-written content that speaks to your audience in a way that provides value. If you do that and interact with others in a respectful way on Medium, in time you’ll see that follower count rise.

It took me just under two weeks to go from 1 follower to over 100. Your mileage will vary, of course, but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, I have no doubt that you’ll be able to hit that milestone in pretty short order.

However, I would certainly caution against trusting anyone who claims to have reached 100 followers overnight or who promotes a “follow for follow” scheme.

As you get started on Medium, I do recommend following people whose content you’ll actually want to read – but don’t blindly follow someone just because he promises a follow back for everyone who follows him.

Be patient and spend time creating valuable content. Try to map out who your audience is and will be. Think through what kind of material they would like to read and start writing that. As you do, assuming your content is high quality and provides value and assuming there’s a market for your niche, you’ll start to attract more and more readers.