1. What do you look for in a blog? Is it readership size? Tone of writing? Scale of project?
There are many factors involved when Brands are determining if a blog is partnership material - factors such as quality of writing & pictures, frequency of posts, reader engagement, topic authority, and reach (number of followers).
Brands also recognize that the co-creation of material is important, after all, you need them to create your content, and they need you to amplify their message through your content & social network - it's a win-win situation.
As a blogger, you also cannot expect to always be compensated with money - sometimes the product itself is payment enough for your participation. And this is more-often-than-not the case here in Canada.
So in short, when trying to "impress" a brand be prepared to show authority, context, engagement and reach.
2. How do bloggers find out about opportunities to work with you? Should they approach you, or do you approach them?
In most cases, bloggers wait to be approached by a Brand or a representative from their agency. There is nothing wrong with this approach, you just need to be able to stand out in the crowd. If you, as a blogger, are looking to make the first move, don't be intimidated - Brands are just as intimated by you, as you are of them (if not more!).
If you are looking to put a pitch together for a Brand make sure you know exactly what you are asking for - have a project in mind and elaborate on how they can help you, how you can amplify their message, and some of your blogging statistics. Have your roles and participation clearly defined. Keep it straight-forward and to the point. And even if you are rejected,always follow up with a "thank you for your time."
3. What would your ideal partnership look like?
An ideal partnership really depends on the Brand. Some Brands are simply looking for in-bound link building, while others are looking for long-term partnerships that may span over a couple of posts or a turn into a series.
In all situations the end goal is always the same - content generation & amplification.