Made a couple of my own compost bin when I was in middle school. Cut the bottoms off of two garbage cans and put them into shallow holes in the ground. Those compost bins took off, they were always really warm to the touch, and on a cold morning I could open the can and see steam coming out.
What is the smell like? I read that if you keep a 50/50 ratio of greens and browns it won't smell too bad, but If I were to place the bin in the middle of my yard it would only be 70 feet from the neighbors.
My compost bins do not smell. I make sure that there is a good mix of stuff going into the bin.
If yours starts to smell, short term fix is to put a layer of lawn clippings over the top. Long term, make sure there is a balance of vege scraps/lawn clippings/leaves etc and turn over once in a while.
The most likely source of smell is aneorobic (no oxygen) rotting which produces methane and things like hydrogen sulphide. What you want is areobic rotting (with oxygen) so turn ove the compost occasionally and ensure that you have holes in your compost container to let air into the heap.
On the other hand you don't want too much ventilation that your heap dries out, so it is good to have solid walls with holes/slits in to let some air through. For example.. The wetter your climate, the more holes you should put in.
Just an update. I built a 3'x3'x3' box with two sides almost completely solid and two side just chicken wire. Started filling it up on Saturday and checked last night and there was activity as it was getting warm.
Our neighbors used to have a horrendous smelling compost pile out back. One of the only things I'm ever glad a Homeowner's Organization did was giving that dude an ultimatum to either move the trash or move himself (also trash, but you know what I mean).