First check that all your settings are correct, that contact syncing is checked on all devices (system preferences > iCloud on a mac and settings > iCloud on a iPhone, iPad or iPod).
Make sure the contacts you are adding are added to your 'iCloud' group and not an 'On My Mac', 'On My Phone' or other non iCloud group (you can do this by checking in groups), non iCloud contacts will not sync.
If you are sure that everything is set up correctly and your contacts are in the iCloud group, you might try unchecking contact syncing in the iCloud settings, restarting your device and then re-enabling contact syncing.
This user tip might help you understand how accounts work with Address Book.
Ahh...the "On My Mac" group is what was messing me up.
The only other thing that I'm a little hazy about is the speed in syncing from Macbook to iPhone. Contacts addded to my Macbook don't show up on my iPhone until an iCloud backup takes place....its not instant like it is when a new contact is added to my iPhone. Is there any way to remedy this, or is that just the way it is?
Thanks for the help!