The Inverted Pyramid: What It Is and How to Use It for Online Content

The inverted pyramid style of writing from journalism is well-suited to online content. You present the most important information first. This style of writing flips the traditional workflow of writing. Essential information comes first. More details come later. This quick overview accomplishes several things:

Permits readers to understand and evaluate your message quickly
Allows for quick assessments by readers to decide whether to continue
Puts the most important information in the area online readers look first

Put the five Ws as close to the top of online content as possible:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

Work your way toward more details. The inverted period format is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. The basic premise of this style of writing is that your readers should be able to read the headline and first few lines and know what to expect.

Conveying your message the right way to accommodate online readers matters whether you are writing a personal blog or writing content for cash through

Breaking down the inverted pyramid structure

The inverted pyramid allows your readers to understand the message regardless of where they stop reading. As the piece progresses, readers have the option to continue reading your content for more details. You address two types of readers in this way: those who just want the basics and those who are interested in more details.

The inverted pyramid is broken down into three main parts:

  1. Top – this section contains the most important and most relevant information. Your readers must know this information to understand the topic. This lead answers the five Ws (who, what, when, where and why) and sometimes addresses “how.”
  2. Middle—this section contains extra information that helps readers but isn’t absolutely critical to understand the message. Put the meat and supporting details in this section to give readers added value.
  3. Bottom—this section contains bonus information. It’s not mandatory for your readers to know it. It’s supplemental information that helps in some way. Create this section to give readers looking for additional insight to absorb anything they can about a topic.

Using the inverted pyramid for online content

To access your content to fit the inverted pyramid style, start by asking yourself a series of questions:

  • What is the most important part of my message?
  • What information is absolutely necessary to convey that message?
  • What is the least amount of information you can provide to create the message?

Be brief, to the point and thorough. Keep the more detailed information in the middle and bottom of your content. Think of the structure of the inverted pyramid as if you’re presenting the conclusion first. Follow with the supporting details to flush out the importance for readers who want more information.

When you use the inverted pyramid successfully, your online content is read more often, read by more people and appreciated by a wider audience.