I would like to create some content, like a customized text box with a "motto of the month", that is used on some pages, but not everywhere.
Is there a way that does not require deploying a web part that can do that?
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Yes you have two options for this.
Using a customized page layout - This will contain the moto at some place. When you need, you can change the page layout and publish it.
Create a custom webpart that will show the moto, which is a text taken from a property bag value. In that case, you do not need to do anything with the webpart. You just have to change the property bag value.