Let's say you sell a high ticket software solution to businesses. You drive traffic to your website and then try to convince those visitors that your product is better than all the others, thus converting them into sales. But what if you took a slightly different tact?
First, you sign up as an affiliate with all of your competitors. Next, you write a report in which you feature ALL of the software solutions, not just yours. Of course you feature yours first, but you also fairly cover all of your competitors' products and provide links to their websites.
Result? First, you come across as an unbiased, helpful expert instead of a sales person. Second, you likely make more sales of your own product. Third, you get paid even when customers decide to purchase from your competitors. And fourth, you're building a list you can continue to market to for a long time to come.
This might even work in some offline niches as well, such as swimming pool sales and installation. If competitors don't have an affiliate program, approach them to set one up.
Just imagine going to an offline client and telling them they can make money even when a customer goes with their competitor – what a great way to get in the door and get them listening to what you have to say.