When I start the process of npm link to create a symlink from one folder to another, it just downloads a new node_module in that folder with a bunch of files.

When I try and create a symlink using npm link in a node_module subfolder by cd to the folder and typing in npm link—I’m trying to link each node module to dist folder—it just downloads a node_module subfolder into the current node module I’m in. Any suggestions?

I am not sure what you are trying to do, or how you are trying, so some questions about the how.

Are you running npm link from the root folder of your package? (Not from the node_modules folder or even deeper.)
Are you typing just npm link, or are you supplying a parameter?

https://docs.npmjs.com/cli/link