I have been asked how much do we charge for a sponsorship or an ad in our blog... what is a fair price, do you charge per month, size, location in page? any tips will be greatly appreciated.
The blog caters to a very targeted, local audience, thus the interest of this organization to have some kind of ad in our blog.
There are many different ways to evaluate the value of your blog. If you think that the businesses in contact with you right now are going to provide value to your constituents, you should consider working on a PPM (pay-per-1000) or PPC (pay-per-click) model to start. In these cases, you can easily fall back on industry averages and then tweak based on supply/demand.
In both cases you'll need an ad management system. The choice of which one is going to be dependent on what your blog is currently using as a platform. In both models, you should be getting paid up-front and set up the ads as pre-paid accounts, from which your ad management system will deduct the alloted/agreed costs from.
There are several ad networks that are designed specifically for blog owners. I'd suggest to go with one of those and not worry about the rates. They will also put your blog in front of potential advertisers.
I believe some of them are focusing on particular content. Go to blogs similar to your's and if they have ads hover your mouse over to see who is serving the ads.
When you are as big as TechCrunch.com with millions monthly readers, then you probably need an in-house ad serving platform.
Best of luck!
First, run Adsense for couple of months on the same spot you want to show sponsor ads. This will give you an idea what is the minimum income you can make. For e.g if Adsense brings you $100 per month for a 200 by 200 square rectangle. Now if you divide it into 4 squares for each sponsor. You know that the minimum price for each square should be $25.
There are ad networks you can apply to but not all networks will accept you. You need some level of web traffic. For e.g Buynsellads will accept only webdesign related blogs and you need to be an established website.
Try textlinkads and google adsense if you have not tried them yet.