Some articles directories allow you to post your own affiliate links within the article. That’s where you add your hoplink. Keep in mind that this post was written a few years back where articles directories did allow aff links. These days most don’t, so you’ll have to create a blog (even a free blog on Blogger or WordPress.com can be good) and add your hoplinks there, then direct people to your blog by linking to it from the articles you submit to article directories.
Giving away a free informational product such as an e-book, an email series or a mini-course is a popular tactic many affiliate marketers use. Usually, your readers will have to provide their email addresses to receive the product from you. You can then use this to sell to them via email marketing. Additionally, an informational product can generate interest in the actual product you're trying to sell. If your product is popular enough and brings enough traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.