Do Typos Matter? Not As Much As You Think
But one thing I find interesting is that as much as I get paid to make sure writing is flawless, there are times when even I question its significance.
What do I mean?
Well, conventional wisdom says that typos will absolutely KILL your chances at success.
If a typo (or two) (or three) are in your resume, you're done.
If a typo is in a business email to a potential client, forget about a response.
If your e-newsletter has any typos, people will hit that "unsubscribe" button for sure.
...Or will they?
I get newsletters with a typo or two. I also get salesletters from million dollar companies that missed using a space between words.
And yet, they still mange to be successful.
Which leads me, a writer, to ponder: IS a typo the big deal everyone claims it is?
I mean, in every field of life, there are purists. In my niche of copywriting, purists scoff with disdain at conversational writing. But yet, that is what sells because writing like one speaks is what connects with people-and in sales that's the whole point, not a literary masterpiece!
With typos, the same applies. But let's not get greedy. One to three typos applies here, but not typos in every sentence throughout the document. That WILL make you look bad-bad enough to get rejected.
Let's say you have a newsletter and there's one typo. Did it make you unsubscribe immediately? Did you never buy their products because they wrote "you're" instead of your?
The answer, most likely, is NO.
Before I get hate mail for my low standards, let me state emphatically that I never turn in work to a client with typos. I always aim for excellence, but I also understand that typos happen.
They do. It's called lyfe-whoops, I meant life.
This is just to encourage you that one or two typos don't matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters are the results you get and if those results are what you want.
I've seen a multi-million dollar company have a typo in their brand slogan for a white paper. Did it slow them down? Not at all.
Did their stock prices dip? Nope. Did it stop their growth? N-O.
In fact, this particular marketing piece continued to flourish and sell really well.
I've personally bought eBooks that were poorly edited with lots of typos. These eBooks happened to be bestsellers.
I was critical but realized that I got alot out of the eBook, and my writer's pride aside, didn't really care about a few typos. (in some cases, ALOT of typos).
Because at the end of the day, it was the CONTENT that I needed, so who cares?
I've pitched emails to potential clients, only to notice a typo after I hit SEND. And, to my surprise, I still got the contract!
I've seen queries to publishers with typos still get picked up....because the book was THAT promising!
And I also noticed that referrals rarely care about a typo in an email. Or formatting.
Because at the end of the day, who you know trumps what you know every time.
The moral of the story, kids:
Typos won't automatically kill your business or chances of success. Aim for excellence but more importantly, no matter what anyone tells you, it boils down to quality over quantity (or perfection) every time.
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