The Pyramid Approach to Fact Packed Content

Have you ever hit a situation where that 400 word article you are writing just doesn’t give you enough room to get your point across? Well, today I would like to share a writing tip which can help with this.

The technique I am going to describe has three very distinct benefits. Firstly, it ensures that the website content you are writing presents the key facts as a priority. Secondly, it makes the process of actually writing far easier, as it will force you to structure your thoughts, and therefore your content, more logically. Lastly, it makes sure that you don’t simply write a page full of fluff, as you have a firm list of facts that will naturally end up being spread throughout the page.

I call this the pyramid approach, I am sure it has a proper name, but I am unaware of it. Visualize a pyramid made up of facts, at the very top of the pyramid is the most important fact, and it is supported by less important facts below it, in a fairly strict hierarchy.

As an example, let’s consider the broad subject of water. We start by listing all of the facts we think we might like to discuss on the page. We could list a few key facts about water in order of importance thus:

  • Water is a requirement for human life to exist.
  • Water is needed to grow food.
  • Water is useful for transport.
  • Water helps us keep things clean.

So using this list of facts above, I can come up with a short paragraph thus:

Water is vital to the human body; over 60% of our body mass is made up of water. Without regularly inducting water, the body will dehydrate and die. Without water, we would not be able to grow the crops which feed us, or breed livestock. Over 70% of the surface of the planet Earth is covered by water. This makes the many seas, rivers and manmade waterways, a vital part of the global transport network. Many solvents and cleaning agents are soluble in water, and this makes water a crucial resource for keeping things clean and hygienic.

OK, that isn’t very useful information presented as just a short paragraph, but it does demonstrate how the pyramid approach works, we lead with the heavyweight facts and then support them with the lesser facts.

Now where this technique is really of use for website content writers is in a situation whereby you simply have too much information to deliver in a single, short page. By defining the hierarchy of facts first, you are ensuring that the most important information gets delivered as a priority. If you run out of space, you can be sure that you are only going to need to leave out less important facts.