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Getting noticed in the sea of content

The box

People are consuming more content now than ever before, so how the heck do you stand out?

There’s the “standard” way of doing things, from writing blog posts, web copy, social media ads, and everything else. But what do you do to really differentiate your content from the sea of content out there today?

I think a lot of times we can feel boxed into what we’ve always done or what’s always been done in general. Today, I challenge you to think about how you normally do what you do and think about how you could up your game, or step outside of the content box.

My maid of honor speech

Have you ever had to give a speech?

Maid of honor/best man speeches are a staple for most weddings—but what happens when YOU have to give the speech?

As writers, it feels like something we should be good at. Speech writing shouldn’t be THAT hard…except when it’s for someone like your sibling or best friend’s wedding…there’s a tad more weight to this speech, huh?

Yeah. As the matron of honor for my sister’s wedding last weekend, my speech was the epitome of my existence for months, but I think I cracked the speech-writing code…

photo of wireless microphones on top of the table
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Your first instinct may be to scour the internet for best man/maid of honor speech templates. You’ll find a lot of them. They’ll have you write an introduction of who you are, some fond memories, a funny story, some comments about the married couple, and then end with a toast.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I couldn’t help but think about how there had to be a better way to go about writing this speech. I was struggling because I was closing myself into a box from a template out of desperation because I was so intimidated. Why not keep it simple and just stick to a template to guide me?

Wrong. 

I was bored to death writing it, and when you’re bored writing something, it will come off in your writing and your audience will yawn right alongside you.

So how do you make it exciting? It’s cliche, but true: think outside the box.

I scrapped everything I wrote and started over. I couldn’t help but think about how I wrote whole books but somehow couldn’t handle this little speech. I even wrote that in my new intro to my speech, but I knew that I didn’t want to boast about writing books without having a deeper purpose for mentioning that. And THAT’S when it hit me.

The story of my life with my sister and I have a lot of the same elements as writing a story. There’s character development (guiding my sister through life experiences), conflict and resolution (silly fights we had like who was going to win American Idol), sub-plots (the little things we experienced together like learning instruments and going to high school together) and of course, a love interest—her new husband! 

So that’s exactly what I wrote. It was the perfect way to tie in our life together and share cute and funny stories (bonus: I got the crowd to laugh!), while having a solid theme to the speech. I still said some of the things that I probably would have said if I had followed a template, but I did it my way with my own style and brought my own sense of creativity to it. I even had several people come up to me afterwards and say how much they enjoyed the speech. Win!

And I think that’s what creating content is all about. You start with the foundation of the basic content that you need to communicate and make it your own. If you say it like everyone else, you’ll be lost in the content sea and may struggle to get noticed. But once you put your unique spin on it, that’s where everything changes.

Jump outside of the box

silhouette photo of jumping person during twilight hour
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Don’t just step out of it—jump! Take risks, try new things, try new formats, and anything else you may have been hesitant to do. 

For example, if you have a standard structure to your blog posts, mix it up. If you normally use stock photography, try using your own photography. Try adding an audio file to your content. Try making a video to complement your content. Let more of your personality or the company’s  brand voice shine brighter than before. Really dig in and challenge yourself.

It’s a little scary since it’s something different, but the internet changes by the second these days. What works one day may not work the next. We constantly have to be challenging the way we think and how we execute our content in order to accomplish our main goals, like attracting attention from our audience. As the great Gary Vaynerchuk would say, attention is the main commodity now.

How will you jump outside the box today? There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to lose. Trying something different may introduce you to opportunities you never imagined.


You must be pretty serious about your content writing if you made it to the end of this post! Great. Every serious content writer needs a sharp portfolio, and it’s never a bad time to either build a new one or boost the one you have. Check out my guide to make sure you show off your variety of skills and impress your prospects:

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2 Comments

  1. Hey Becca,

    What’s up? How have you been? Your Maid of Honor speech was the best example of getting out of the box and doing something radically different.

    You are right. It’s getting harder and harder to stand out. The usual way of doing things doesn’t seem to be working (or if it is, maybe I am a little too impatient).

    Now, with the additional work (like reworking older posts and so on), it’s getting to be a full-time job.

    I am not complaining though. As you put it, it’s important to try new things, to experiment, and to go out of that comfort zone.

    I am trying.

    Ash

    1. Hey Ash! So great to hear from you and I’m so glad you liked this post!

      Part of marketing and writing is to always try new things and try to stay ahead of trends so you can continue to stand out. It’s not easy!

      I’m glad you’re doing your best to get out of your comfort zone. You totally got this!!

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