I have a website that I would like to advertise directly to advertisers (without using adsense, doubleclick, etc..). How do I find out a ballpark figure of what I should ask for in terms of CPC or CPM? Are there any published reports or averages I can refer to? Any advice in setting/negotiating a starting point for price?
If I can get X click-thrus or ad impressions by spending $Y on adWords, then I'm not likely to pay more than $Y/X per click/impression on advertising on a website unless it's a very well known site in my industry or they have past ad performance data showing that their ad space is more effective.
You not necessarily need to deal with CPM or CPC when it comes to direct advertising. You can work off your analytics and industry, and close a time-based deal -- like a outdoor advertising banner.
That's how DaringFireball.net and many others do. This is much simpler for advertisers and more predictable for you.