Where? Build your pile at least 2 feet from any structure.
To bin or not to bin. A bin isn't necessary. They do help keep moisture and heat in and pests out.
Green and brown. You need both green and brown materials. Green is your nitrogen (grass, green kitchen waste) and brown is your carbon (shredded fallen leaves, twigs and branches)
Speed it up. To quicken your materials demise: wet the ground under the pile, create a bottom layer out of unshredded twigs for air flow, alternate brown and green layers, add water as you go and end with a brown layer.
Turning? Turning your pile is optional. But, turning will get you your black gold sooner. Turn once a week to once a month.
Lids? Covers are your choice too. Covers do help retain moisture or guard against rain, depending how Mother Nature is treating your neck of the woods.
Keep it healthy. Don't add diseased or infested plants.
The black finale. When you can no longer see your green and brown materials, and it looks like dark rich soil, it's cooked and ready to be served!