What to do if you notice a typo after you hit send or publish

Why your writing style isn't wrong or bad

One time, there was a typo in my email subject line. Not just a random email I was sending to a friend: “Hey, girl, hey!” Nope. An email that went out to my health coaching business list. 

You know what I did? Nothing.

Even though I was fairly new to blogging and still trying to gain my subscribers’ trust, I didn’t panic.

And neither should you next time you notice a typo or an error after you hit that terrifying button to send your thing out in to the universe. Today, I’m going to tell you what you should do instead.

You’re probably hyperventilating right now. We’ve been taught that typos and errors – no matter how small – will strip us of any credibility we might have. 

You spend hours writing and editing and spell checking and then doing some more editing so you don’t have to put on your White Hat and spin some serious Olivia Pope-style PR campaign.

You don’t want to be one of those people that’s constantly sending revisions or updates. (I know you hate this. I do, too. Just last week, I got the same email from someone three times because she couldn’t get her buttons to work, and I seriously wanted to unsubscribe. But I didn’t.)

Maybe you even think it’s better to never hit send or publish. Maybe you think keeping your work to yourself is the best way to prevent any typos from haunting you. Or maybe you’re just afraid of the judgment, the ridicule, the laughter that will ensue if you make a mistake.

I hate to break it to you, but this isn’t high school and NO ONE is scrutinizing you to that level. It’s just not happening.

I know, I know. We think the world revolves around us, and everyone notices every. single. move. we. make.

The truth? People are so caught up in THEIR SHIT they don’t notice YOUR SHIT.

So before you lose your shit, here’s a quick three-step solution next time you make a mistake and you’re about to have a meltdown.

Assess the situation.

What’s a good crisis plan without an assessment of the situation?

Before you act without thinking, let’s take a second to see what really happened. Was there a typo in your email subject line? Was there a misspelling buried halfway through your blog post? Did you use a comma instead of a semicolon?

Maybe there was an error that someone might complain about or really notice, like a broken link or a button that goes where it’s not supposed to go. Like a home video on YouTube. Maybe your copy just wasn’t clear.

Figure out what you’re dealing with first and then…

Make a plan.

Here’s what I suggest, my friend: If you’re mortified by some mistakes of the spelling or grammar variety, quietly correct any typos on your site. Without notifying the press.

Look, these things happen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reread something (be it a proposal from the good ol’ corporate days, an email, or a blog post) and found so many typos my head wanted to explode.

But, if the mistake was something that might put a damper on user experience (like, OMG, why doesn’t anything happen when I furiously click on this button?!) or hurt your chances of making a sale (like, whoops, your link goes to your 404 page), resend that email with the correct info. 

Feel free to give a quick explanation as to WHY you’re resending. You can do that in the email subject line or before the body of the email. Don’t just resend with the revised info and leave everyone guessing why they’re getting a duplicate email.

Evaluate what you need to do differently next time.

Once the smoke has cleared and you’ve put your plan in place, it’s time to make another plan. A plan for how to prevent the same thing from happening again. 

No one likes a chronic button bungler or a link loser. (Totally new terms. You think they’ll catch on?)

So ask yourself: 

  • Did you forget to run spell check?

  • Were you in a hurry and didn’t read your copy out loud?

  • Did you skip over checking the links?

  • Was there a test email or two?

Figure out what went wrong and put a process in place to try and minimize (not eradicate…just not gonna happen) any recurrences.

Maybe that means creating a workflow. Maybe that means running your copy through a tool like Grammarly. Maybe that means giving yourself more time. 

But definitely revise your approach. And remember that no one is perfect so don’t panic. 

Now let’s have some fun! Take the last thing you wrote and give it a read out loud. 

Find any mistakes? Something you stumbled over? Fix it! But resist the urge to broadcast the new version to your subscribers. 

If this is too overwhelming and you’re not sure what to do, send it my way! I can help you clean up your copy so you can confidently hit send. Sometimes another set of eyes is all it takes. Check out my totally customizable editing services here and let’s coach that copy back to health!